This Sunday in the UK is Father's Day and, in one way, I'm not looking forward to it. I have already received a package from my son as he will be out of the country but I will miss not giving a card and gift to my father who died last year. Under the joy and happiness of the day there will be the sadness of loss.
My sadness shows that I had a good relationship with my father but what about those who never knew their father or to whom the idea of father meant abuse? What do they make of a day to celebrate fatherhood? Taking it one stage further what do they make of the church continually talking of God the Father - what image does that conjure up for them?
When Jesus spoke of the Godhead as father he was reflecting on the relationship he had with his earthly “father” Joseph. We must always be on the lookout for an appropriate positive image to describe God the “Father” to other people whose concept of fatherhood may be negative or we may drive them away.