June 17 2018 “Seed Sown to Save” Psalm 20, *Mark 4.26-34 Father’s Day Pastor Jacqueline Hines
A little boy was asked to define Father’s Day. He said, “It’s just like Mother’s Day, only you don’t spend as much on the present.”
After tucking their three-year-old child Sammy in for bed one night, his parents heard sobbing coming from his room.
Rushing back in, they found him crying hysterically. He managed to tell them that he had swallowed a penny and he was sure he was going to die. No amount of talking was helping.
His father, in an attempt to calm him down, palmed a penny from his pocket and pretended to pull it from Sammy's ear. Sammy was delighted.
In a flash, he snatched it from his father's hand, swallowed, and then cheerfully demanded, "Do it again, Dad!"
Our scripture lesson talks about growing things. [slide # 1 verse 27 …we do not know how] Though God is the ultimate maker, creator, and designer, we humans are definitely a part of the plan.
God has planted in the human heart a strong desire to participate in the things that are living and growing. [slide # 2 sprouts growing] Some of us plant seeds. Others water and fertilize and make sure there is enough shade and sunshine as needed. Many weed and watch to protect and support the underground roots and the burgeoning blossoms. [ slide # 3 cherry blossoms ] We all have a role in making something good grow and flourish.
It is a divinely human quality to nurture a seed and help it grow, and sit back and enjoy the fruit of our labors. Often what we have grown together is so beautiful, it takes our breath away and soothes the beast in us. Sometimes what we grow feeds us and satisfies our need for survival. What we grow can be used to make our lives comfortable. [slide # 4 Mike’s cabinet ] like this beautiful entertainment cabinet that Mike is making for his son’s wedding gift.
On this Father’s Day, we remember the very special role of the Godly father to help children grow healthy and strong. Psychology Today notes four special things that Fathers do that are important. First, is developing a toddler’s a sense of adventure by playing and wrestling with them while mom may be doing practical nurturing things, like feeding. [slide 5 father daughter fishing]
Secondly, a father shows children high standards and healthy ways to treat females. When a wife or ex is hard to deal with, a father does well to exhibit behavior that takes the high road instead of the low road, for the sake of the children, so says child advocate Dr. Mark Banschick. [slide # 6 Dr. Banschick] He advocates a bill of rights for the well-being of children, particularly when parents are not getting along, [slide # 7 Intelligent Divorce] when parents cannot get over their anger, when they want to retaliate and punish each other, which does not help at all. The points of Banschick’s Bill of Rights for Children include:
1. Please do not ask me to choose sides between you.
3. Stop “bad mouthing” each other in front of me.
9. Leave me out of your fighting.
Thirdly, girls need fathers. Successful women more often have had a father that believed in them, could identify their strengths, and who adored them for who they were. Such a relationship makes girls understand how special they are, which can protect their hearts from men who offer less.
Finally, according to Dr. Banschick, sons need a father. A father can especially help a son deal with aggressions and move into responsible manhood in ways particular to men.
Many experts agree that in spite of the fact that Hallmark sells twice as many Mother’s Day cards than Father’s Day cards, fathers are very important in God’s plan of salvation, to save this generation from some unnecessary hardships of life. [slide # 8 baby hand in father’ s hand]
As Jesus said, God’s plan, God’s kingdom begins with seeds as small as mustard seeds. Even the smallest Godly things that a father does and says will lead to great blessings for his children. Even the tiniest first steps can lead to a wonderfully long journey of faith and wisdom that leaves children, bearing much fruit of the Holy Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness (generosity), faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Jesus said in verses 31-32 “The small mustard seed when sown…grows big enough to enable birds to nest in its shade.” [ slide # 9 verse 31-32 ] When fathers sow Godly behavior, they will reap what they sow. They will grow something great. The children will have it made in the shade! [slide # 10 happy children]
Godly fathers do not make children’s lives perfect, [slide # 11 Godly father] but more often than not, children of a father who is growing spiritually and allows himself to be nurtured by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, will experience the rewards and satisfactions that are intended for all children. [slide # 12 father and baby] May it be so today and every day! [slide # 13 Jesus hugging…] Amen.