This Sunday will be Father’s Day. Dad never seemed greatly concerned about this, but I always bought him a card and he was pleased, if a little surprised, to get it. Mum was never impressed with the idea of Father’s Day; for her it was just something that card makers had invented to increase their sales. She did have something of a point; does anyone remember “Grandparent’s Day”, which really was a piece of marketing by the greeting card companies. Oddly enough she did not feel the same way about Mothering Sunday, although in fairness that was a day with much more ancient roots, albeit reinvented in the 20th century both by society and, in rare piece of successful opportunism, by the church.
Despite it’s purely secular roots, many churches will be saying prayers for fathers this Sunday; thanks for past or present relationships, or where appropriate, for healing or closure on fractured relationships. I have really only good memories of my Dad and for that I am very grateful. However, I am still haunted by the words of a young man I met whilst I was training, a resident of a local YMCA and held captive by drug addiction. He had a young son but was in despair; “You try and be a good father, a good example, and you can’t”.
For what is good, we thank you loving Father; for what is not, Lord in your mercy hear our cry.