Have you ever been asked to read Scripture in a small group Bible study. While some get nervous reading anything in front of others, the Bible can be particularly challenging; it has its share of difficult words. The historical books in the Old Testament are probably the worst, especially the lists of family names. We come to one of those lists (they are called genealogies) this week. It would certainly be hard to preach a sermon over a list of names; yet these lists remind us of a greater truth. None of us live on a historical island. We are connected to our family lineage, both predecessors and offspring. We are products of our fathers and we have the potential to impact our children. It just so happens that this Sunday is Father’s Day. Do you see the connection?
We would not have the time to relate each story embodied in this list of names. Yet the list reminds us that we have fathers who have shaped us. Some of us share wonderful memories of men who have transformed us in countless ways. We celebrate dads who poured themselves into our lives. Yet every story is not a Pollyanna account; our fathers have not always contributed in positive ways. Father’s Day is a painful day for some. Disappointment, regret, hurt and pain characterize our understanding of father. We are a community with various experiences; it is good to share our stories.
On Sunday, we will use Genesis 11 as a springboard into a discussion on fatherhood. Instead of flipping past the list, relegating any relevance to our lives, we will communicate various experiences of our family lines. At the same time, we will challenge modern day fathers to leave a legacy for future generations. We are living in a list, the ink has not yet dried. Finally, we will point to God as ultimate Father. He is the perfect example of what it means to relate to our children. Where there is brokenness and heartbreak, His love heals. Join us on Father’s Day for a time of collective celebration and reflection.