We invite you all to join us for Cafe Liberty between 9:45 and 10:15 AM tomorrow as we gather for worship.
Tomorrow is a stand-alone message, rather than one of a series, as we share in a time of honoring Dads. My goal is for people in all types of families to find strong encouragement in God’s Word especially in the culture we face today.
A conversation from about 27 years ago came to mind as I was reflecting on what Father’s Day represents for many people.
A retired steelworker who had come to faith in Christ late in life began sharing his story with me over coffee while I was with his neighbor for a pastoral visit. Somehow the subject of the Bay Bridge came up and he began describing to me the work that he and other tradesmen took on in the engineering and excavation phases of placing underwater sub-structures in the Chesapeake Bay. His description of the machinery and methods they had used to force cement into precise piling locations in the Bay and repeating that procedure over and over again for the vertical girders of the bridge was fascinating.
With daily traffic now at about 61,000 vehicles across the bridge, the work those guys did in the 1950’s and 60’s underwater as well as on sky-high steel girders is still amazing. When the first span of that bridge opened, it was the longest continuous over-water steel structure in the world.
What hundreds of thousands of drivers can now take for granted is that a 4.3-mile drive across that bridge makes the Eastern Shore easily accessible (well, except for those times when traffic slows to a crawl!) thanks to the extensive prep work of those who did what they did best under significant pressure.
In a way, a father’s best work in life is very much like those engineers, divers, and tradesmen who worked for years on the Bay Bridge. Years of dedication to tasks that are mostly unseen by others is an instinctive part of being a father. Guys with good goals aim to open options for their wives and kids to cross their bridges in life as easily as possible.
Those teams who toiled in the Chesapeake Bay knew their work was vital for the future success of the project. Many tasks were repetitive and tedious, a few were exhilarating and, whatever the task, it was essential that they stay attentive and consistent. The smart ones got a great sense of fulfilment from a job well done. Recognition was far from their minds.
Father’s Day holds a kind of irony for us. Dads don’t usually ask for much. It’s puzzling for some people who find themselves somewhat distant from their dad. “What can I get for him?” a son or daughter wonders. “How can I thank him? What would be meaningful to my father?”
Dads, of course, come in all types of personalities and with very diverse goals and skills. Certainly, some are more expressive than others.
What good dads have in common, though, is a strong desire for the “project” to succeed. And, of course, by “project”, I mean something of far greater significance even than a bridge that benefits tens of thousands every day.
It’s the supreme reward he gets from seeing daughters and sons thriving. A father’s fulfilment comes from an honor that no other relationship in life can bring. Whether in good times or in their tough times, a wise father is on-the-watch for what will bring the best options and opportunities to his daughters and sons.
So, in a dad’s world, the intangibles of respect, understanding and empathy rank much higher than many people imagine. Devoted dads instinctively create bridges of opportunity that kids can cross multiple times on their journeys in life.
When life gets tangled in ways that hurt the family, God’s Word shows a way for deep healing to come from the magnitude of our heavenly Father’s love!
As we give thanks for all the ways God uses family to equip little “saints” for their “works of service”, we stand in awe before the Giver of every good gift (James 1:17). Bring the dads you love this weekend to His presence in prayer for a blessing that flows into their life with great refreshing and peace.
Plan to join us for our Annual Church Cookout on Sunday, August 27th!
A sign-up sheet on the Connections Table helps our team plan. Church provides burgers, hot dogs, beverages, ice, and paper/plastic. Plan to bring a couple of side dishes of your choice and bring friends for water slide fun, food, fellowship and more!
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The LORD brought his people out with joy,
His chosen ones with singing.