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The Blessing of a Father

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Call to Worship

“Wie sich ein Vater über Kinder erbarmt,

       so erbarmt sich der Herr

       über die die ihn fürchten.”

Heute ist Vatertag,

       der Tag an dem wir unsere Väter ehren,

       die uns von Kindheit auf versorgt haben,

       die uns geliebt haben,

       und auf ihre starken Arme getragen haben…

       die uns den richtigen Weg gezeigt haben,

       und uns zu den Menschen geformt haben,

       die wir sind.

Wir erkennen, daß unsere irdischen Väter,

       wie auch wir,

nicht ohne Fehler gewesen sind.

Und wir wollen Gott heute einmal “Danke” sagen,

       für den Segen den wir durch unsere Familien

       und unsere Väter erlebt haben.

Wir wollen heute das tun,

       was uns die Bibel in den Zehn Geboten heisst zu tun:

       “Ehre deinen Vater und deine Mutter,

       auf daß du lange lebst in dem Land,

       daß dir der Herr dein Gott verheissen hat.”

On this day we celebrate our Fathers!

We recognize that our first teachers are our parents.

Today we  acknowledge with gratitute

       that God has a perfect design for the family,

       and that he has made us for relationships

       first with our father and mother,

       our earthly families,

       and also with him.

Today we pray for our dads in a special way,

the fathers that we still have,

and also the ones that have already passed

into God’s glory.

We want to pause and give praise to our heavenly Father,

       for the gift of a human father.

Let us pray,

Grant your blessing on our fathers

on this special day which honors them.

Bless our fathers, Lord.

Keep us in your care

so that we may live according to your plan

for a Christian family and home.

For those who have not been blessed

with the love that fills our home, we pray.

You are the God of forgiveness and new beginnings…

Lord, we thank you for allowing us

to celebrate this special day.

May we continue to live the lessons

we have learned from our parents.

 

(German)

Pastorales Gebet

Unser Vater im Himmel!

cDein Name werde geheiligt.

10Dein Reich komme.

dDein Wille geschehe wie im Himmel so auf Erden.

11Unser tägliches Brot gib uns heute.

12Und vergib uns unsere Schuld,

wie auch wir vergeben unsern Schuldigern. e

13Und fführe uns nicht in Versuchung,

sondern erlöse uns von dem Bösen.

[Denn gdein ist das Reich und die Kraft

und die Herrlichkeit in Ewigkeit. Amen.]
The Blessing of a Father

Today is Fathers Day!

And we want to congratulate all our dads

       on this special day.

I’m sure you all got served “breakfast in Bed”

       and all the children lined up nicely

       to wish you well on Fathers Day,

       and they promised to always honor and obey you, right?

Ok…

       if they didn’t actually say it

       I’m sure they meant it.

I asked Mattias if he had a good “Father’s Day joke”

to start this service.

“I sure do,” he said,

        “Just look in the mirror and you’ll see one.”

There are a lot of cute little stories

       about a father’s loving care…

       and the praises that we like to give

to our earthly fathers…

When I first read the poem on the back of our bulletin

“What makes a dad?”

I thought to myself,

“I would like to be a dad like that”.

Most of the time I don’t feel strong as a mountain…

       majestic as a tree…

       warm like a summer sun…

       and as calm as a quiet sea.

Very often being a father is a real struggle…

       I find that there is a fine line between

       directing and controling my kids…

       between being understanding of the choices they make,

       and letting them do what they want.

That does take wisdom,

       that I often lack.

If you desire to be a god-pleasing father

       you know that you depend

on the absolute grace and wisdom of God

every moment of your parenting life.

And you know also that what you give to your children

       will go with them for the rest of their lives.

If you give them your love and affirmation

       they will live as blessed children.

Gary Smalley and John Trent have written a book

       entitled “The Blessing”.

I highly recommend this book.

They write that,

“Each of us has a deep seated need to feel blessed.

       Whether we have ever put it into words or not,

       we each long to be loved and accepted

unconditionally just for who we are,

regardless of what we’ve done or failed to do.

If we feel blessed we can face life

with self-confidence and joy.

If we lack such feeling, even subconsciously,

life is full of fear, frustration and disappointment.”

The yearning for this affirmation and approval

       “is especially true

in our relationship with our parents.

The approval or rejection of our parents

       has a profound impact on our life…

The lack of blessing of the parents

can literally put a curse on the life of a person

even long into their adulthood.

In Genesis 27 we have an example of this truth.

       The story is familiar to us how Jacob,

with the help of his mother Rebekah,

deceives his father and older brother

to receive the blessing that was meant for Esau, the firstborn.

Lets pick up the story at verse 26:

26 Then his father Isaac said to him,

"Come here, my son, and kiss me."

27 So [Jacob – pretending to be Esau] went to him and kissed him.

When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes,

       (he had put on the clothes of Esau).

he blessed him and said,
       "Ah, the smell of my son
       is like the smell of a field
       that the LORD has blessed.

28 May God give you of heaven's dew
       and of earth's richness—
       an abundance of grain and new wine.

29 May nations serve you
       and peoples bow down to you.
       Be lord over your brothers,
       and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.
       May those who curse you be cursed
       and those who bless you be blessed."

30 After Isaac finished blessing him

and Jacob had scarcely left his father's presence,

his brother Esau came in from hunting.

It didn’t take long for Esau to find out

       what had taken place, and we read…

38 Esau said to his father,

"Do you have only one blessing, my father?

Bless me too, my father!"

Then Esau wept aloud.

39 His father Isaac answered him,
       "Your dwelling will be
       away from the earth's richness,
       away from the dew of heaven above.

40 You will live by the sword
       and you will serve your brother.
       But when you grow restless,
       you will throw his yoke
       from off your neck."

41 Esau held a grudge against Jacob

because of the blessing his father had given him.

He said to himself,

"The days of mourning for my father are near;

then I will kill my brother Jacob."

What a story about the tremendous power

       of a father’s word of blessing to his children.

We know that the story goes on,

       and Jacob was on the run for his life.

But, the point that this story teaches us is

       that it is extremely important that we,

       as God-fearing parents,

       give our blessing to our children.

We do that through a variety of ways:

First there is the meaningful touch of a parent.

Jacob kissed his father,

and we can be pretty sure that Isaak also

would have embraced the son of promise

and let him feel the tender touch

of the father who loved him.

 

Spoken Words are another important part

of blessing our children.

Often I hear adult men and women express with sadness,

that they have never heard their father say the words

that they so much longed to hear,

       “I love you, my child.”

I would encourage every father here today

       to bless your children with these words –

       without any conditions.

Don’t say to them,

       “I will love you if…

       you will be more like your sister or brother…”

       or, “I love you, but, you’re not quite good enough.”

We need to say it

and we need to say it often,

especially when the child feels

that he or she has made a mess:

“I love you and I accept you,

because you are my precious child.”

       “Nothing in the world will change that.”

We need to tell our children

       that they mean everything to us.

Our children are the most precious people in the world for us.

       They are not just little extensions of their parents

       who are resposible to make their mom and dad

look good in public.

They are individuals who have a very high value,

       even if we don’t always agree with their choices.

We need to let them know that we hold them in high esteem.

Listen to the words of Isaak to his son,

       "Ah, the smell of my son
              is like the smell of a field
                     that the LORD has blessed.”

We also need to help our children picture a future

       that is full of success and blessing,

as Isaak did:

28 May God give you of heaven's dew
       and of earth's richness—
       an abundance of grain and new wine.

29 May nations serve you
       and peoples bow down to you.
       Be lord over your brothers,
       and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.
       May those who curse you be cursed
       and those who bless you be blessed."

       What kind of a future do you envision for your children?

       Hold up that future before them

              so that they will embrace it with confidence,

              and become all that God has created them to be.

The challenge that God wants to present to every father

       is that we would make a commitment to be active

       in blessing our children.

If you are already doing that,

       may God bless your heart.

And, if you are a father who has a hard time

       telling your sons or your daughters that you love them

       you can start today.

As long as we have breath

       it is never too late to start blessing our children.

Then our children will not only have strong roots

       that will nurture them all their life…

       but, then they will also have wings

       that will lift them high up in the air

       and make them successful in life

       and in the service of the Lord.

May these words encourage all of us,

       not only the dad’s.

And may we find comfort in the assurance

       that our Heavenly Father,

       who has called us with such a high calling,

       also forgives the many mistakes

that we make in our parenting.

May our example as earthly fathers be such

       that our children – by the grace of God –

       would see a glimpse of the Heavenly Father in us.

That is my greatest prayer!    


Benediction

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,

from whom every family in heaven and on earth

takes its name.

I pray that, according to the riches of his glory,

he may grant that you may be strengthened

in your inner being with power through his Spirit....

Amen (Ephesians 3:14-16).

 

GB 530

Lieber Vater, hoch im Himmel,

       merk auf deines Kindes flehn,

       laß uns heut und alle Tage,

       Herr, in deinem Segen stehn.

Alles hast du ja in Händen,

       und du weist was mir gebricht,

       o so gib aus deiner Fülle

       Gib mir Herr von deinem Licht.

Moeg dein Geist mich stets regieren,

       lehre mich gehorsam sein;

       fuehre mich auf deinen Wegen,

       Herr in deinem Himmel ein.

Amen

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