Father’s Day brings back memories of my Dad. I wonder where he went to “Parenting School?” As far as I know, there were no such schools back then, but he must have had some kind of sound training in parenting (perhaps from my grandfather?). Dad did a good job as a father. He worked day and night (literally) to provide for his brood of seven children. What a treat it was for me and my siblings to get a 5-cent Hershey candy bar when Dad brought in the groceries on a Friday night. Not every Friday—but some! Little things mean a lot, and the “meaning” grows as the years slip by.
A few days ago I wrote about “inclusive prejudice” where we tend to lump individuals into a group. The examples I used were Islam, Refugees and Mexicans. There is another side of inclusive prejudice that I failed to mention. We tend to lump all fathers in an inclusive group on Father’s Day. Lumping all fathers as one group is just as bad as lumping all Muslims or refugees together as a group. Some fathers have failed at being fathers! Some fathers have not been good to their children! We do the same with our law enforcement—most police officers are genuinely faithful to their duty—others abuse it. There are bad apples among all groups. It is a mistake to just simply lump them all into one basket and say they are all good or they are all bad!
Rufus Jones wrote about “The Gospel According to You,” suggesting that this “fifth Gospel” is one written out of one’s own experience, full of things just as wonderful and exciting as anything in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. As I turn the pages of “My Gospel” this morning, I remember the moment I sensed the call to ministry and what the response to that call has meant over the years. I see once again the dark days, when God brought light; the difficult days, when God encouraged; the good days, when God danced along side of me. It really is “Good News” no matter how much I have frustrated all that God has dreamed and still dreams for me.
I am weak, but thou art mighty; hold me with thy powerful hand.