Father God; December 8, 2022

Luke 1:17 “And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous–to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

In all the celebrations of Christmas we don’t often focus on fathers. God’s character is Father, as even the Old Testament makes clear countless times. That’s why He created mankind, because fathers want children! However, He became Father in a very special way when He sent part of Himself, that is, the Godhead, to earth to be born as a human baby. Japanese has an expression, bunshin, that is used to indicate children as being parts or extensions of their parents. In a sense that is true, but in human terms it can be very problematic, when parents make all the career and marriage choices for their children, as used to be quite common in Japan. However, in Jesus’ case it was completely accurate. He was in full agreement with it, but He Himself said, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” (John 5:19) Christmas is the celebration of the moment God became Father. That is of great importance, because a major problem in the world today is the lack of genuine fatherhood among men. There are lots of biological fathers who do not function as true fathers to their children, and not all good fathers are biologically connected to their children. As Gabriel said to Zechariah, it’s a matter of the heart. This statement by Gabriel is a direct echo of the last verses in the Old testament: “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” (Malachi 4:5-6) Gabriel didn’t mention the curse, but it’s easy to see that the lack of proper fatherhood is a horrible curse. Christmas is an opportunity for fathers to evaluate how they relate to their children – and it’s not just a matter of getting them the right presents. Those who know the reality of John 3:16 need to let others know that it’s not mythology, but a very real historical event that changed the world, the fate of mankind, or at least of those who would believe. The subject is too huge to even try to cover completely here, but we need to remember that Christmas is a celebration of Father God.

I was blessed with an excellent human father, and I have sought to be a good father to my children, both biological and strictly spiritual. I certainly haven’t done a perfect job, but at least I’m aware of the issue. I talk about it in counseling frequently, as I touch on parenting in talking with couples before their wedding. I need to keep looking to and learning from my Heavenly Father, and I need to encourage the believers to do the same. Many people are looking for healing for the wounds they bear from absent or inadequate fathers. I can’t reach them all, but I can help the believers understand that they too can be agents of putting people into right relationship with their Heavenly Father, so that the kingdom of God may overflow with His children.

Father, thank You for this clear Word. Once again You’ve made it clear what I’m to speak on Sunday! I ask for clear guidance and anointing as I prepare the notes, so that what is said may be exactly what You are saying, neither more nor less, and not deviating in any way, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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