THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Father’s Day an opportunity to celebrate family life and faith

A young child announced that he was going to draw a picture of God. “But no-one knows what God looks like” observed an older sibling.

Crayon in hand, the budding artist confidently replied: “They will when I’ve finished this!”

Whenever Christians pray the Lord’s Prayer, God is pictured in the phrase: Our Father. Not all find the image entirely helpful.

Some struggle with experiences of parental abandonment, aggression and abuse. However, the teaching of Jesus encourages belief in a power that works for the good. And the letters of St Paul reflect the childlike trust of the early church. By the Spirit’s power we cry out to God “Abba”– literally, “Daddy”.

Parental roles have changed massively in recent years. This weekend, Father’s Day provides opportunity for the celebration of family life and faith. Both are prone to mistake and misunderstanding. However, the passing of time may sometimes help us to appreciate a bigger picture.

As Mark Twain once observed: “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.

“But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”

ALAN BARKER

Holbeach Methodist Church