Honoring Our Father

by Vicki Stuart

Burning Bush, Linda Henke (CIVA member)

Yes, we honor our familial fathers and father figures this Father’s Day. But, we also must acknowledge Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name — whose kingdom in which we live, whose will is expressed on earth as it is in heaven, who forgives us of our trespasses, who leads us not into temptation, but delivers us from evil: God.

The title Father signifies God’s role as our life-giver, authority, and protector, much like how we view our familial fathers on Earth. Throughout the bible, Our Heavenly Father is seen exemplifying the roles our earthly fathers have traditionally played in our lives:

Our Instructor. Psalm 25:5 asks God to “lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” Just as we watch, listen to, and learn from our fathers on earth, we do so unto Our Heavenly Father as they are our teachers, our role models.

Our Creator: as our fathers on earth have biologically contributed to our creation, God is described as our Creator as well in Isaiah 64:8: “But now, o Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

Our Provider: whether a stay-at-home-dad or the family’s sole bread-winner, our fathers care for us, provide for us, just as Our Heavenly Father provides for all creatures on Earth. Matthew 6:26-6:30 describes God’s eternal fatherly provision saying, “look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?… But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”

We may, at times, show our humanity through frustration with our fathers — even Jesus did when he asked on the cross, “my God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) But, as Jesus prayed to God “with strong crying and tears,” (Luke 6:12) we fall into our fathers’ loving arms in times of struggle, when we are in need of our protector, instructor, or caregiver. And today, we honor that protection, instruction, caregiving, and, ultimately, the love of our father in the hopes of following in their footsteps, making them proud, as Jesus brought Our Heavenly Father’s will upon us. 

Vicki Stuart serves as an intern at CIVA and is currently studying Art History and Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Outside of the classroom, Vicki is on the UW Women’s Lightweight Rowing Team and is an active member of the team’s Bible study group. In her free time, Vicki enjoys spending time with her family, playing with the dog, creating art, and soaking up the sun outdoors.

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