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From The Pastor

June 15, 2018 | by: Rev. John Hartman | 0 comments

Posted in: Children & Family

“Time With Dad” 

           A few weeks ago after church on Sunday, I traveled over to New Jersey to spend the weekend with my father. During my time there, Dad and I went out to lunch at a popular hot-dog joint called “The Goffle Grill” in Hawthorne. You may not find that remarkable or even very interesting. After all, I've had plenty of lunches with my father, meals at the house, at other restaurants, family gatherings during the holidays, and also having him here with my sister in Pennsylvania.  The fact is, Dad and I have eaten the same meal of hotdogs and french fries, and at the same place more times than I can remember. 

           But on this particular day, I had lunch with my Dad alone. It was just him and me. The day could not have been more fitting. It was Memorial Day. It was sixteen years ago to the day that my mother had died. It was one of the reasons why I went to see dad that weekend. It just seemed like the right thing to do. I am glad I went. I'm thankful we were able to be together. I am grateful for that lunch of hotdogs at the Goffle Grill. It was time well spent with Dad. 

           When we speak of God as “Our Father,” it says so much about who God is, -- and what God is really like. There is no doubt that God is our creator, giver of life, and source of all good things. But, God is also our father. It is in his nature to love us, and want to be with us. Fatherhood speaks to the ways in which God provides for our needs. And like a good dad, God's guiding, teaching and discipline are all for our sake. And at the heart of all of this is the simple fellowship of being with him.

           Think about it: If we are apart from the intimacy of ongoing fellowship with God, then we will not be able to hear his word of instruction. Things will undoubtedly spiral downward. We will resent his hand of discipline. We will want to walk our path alone without him telling us what to do. We will take too much credit for our own victories. We will just assume that we have it all figured out, and we don’t need God our father up close and personal. However, when we lose the experience of daily fellowship with God, we may also find that we have lost our delight in his Fatherhood.

           Few people saw the raw power of God unleashed and displayed more than Moses. With every morning deposit of manna, Moses knew that God provided. With the tablets of the Law, Moses knew that God would guide and instruct. And after the people lapsed into idolatry, Moses knew that God would discipline his people. And yet, it was also Moses who spoke with God face to face, -- as a man speaks with a friend.

           My Friends, God invites us into fellowship with him. He invites us to breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in order to spend time with him at the table. Feel free to sit quietly, voice questions and worries, think through the events of the day and the people in your life. And feel free to give thanks. Just make sure that all of this is done in the company of your loving Father.

 Pastor John


Quote of the Week

 "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God.” I John 3:1