While Father’s Day cards are meant to gently chide and poke fun, they can resonate more deeply than we care to admit. For many, the domineering, apathetic father of greeting card lore isn’t fictional. For many, Father’s Day, underneath its veneer of celebration, laughter, and joy, can be painful or even traumatic—a jarring recapitulation of relationships marred by abuse, abandonment, and broken trust. For others, it’s an annual reminder of the fathers they never knew. Or it’s a day of mourning for the fathers they’ve lost.
The life of the church has been formed by language of God as a loving, present, and compassionate Father, from our hymns to our creeds. And this language didn’t come out of nowhere. Scripture has an abundance of imagery and metaphors presenting God as a good Father.
Whatever your story, may you find yourself surrounded by the deep compassion, high mercy, and wide, loving arms of God, who reaches to embrace us in ways to which we can relate.
This message is an excerpt from “Multiple Metaphors” by Hannah J. Hawkinson in the June 2020 issue of Gather magazine. Today on this fourth Sunday after Pentecost, we honor fathers.
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