THANK YOU, DADS!
Today I would like to share two different stories about dads from the Bible. As we celebrate what it means to be a dad, I want to recognize and say thank you to the dads here this morning and those watching online today. Just as we celebrated moms about a month ago and recognized the vital role women have played in our lives, I would like to do the same thing for our dads and those special men that have been so important to us during our lives. As I said I would like us to look at two dads from scripture. One in the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. First off let us look at what we can learn from Isaac and the way he dealt with his two sons. What we read was the second part of something going on between two brothers. To tell a little background without reading it all, we see two brothers named Jacob and Esau. In Genesis 25, we see how they were born and how things went as they grew up. In the 27th and 28th verses of the 25th chapter, we read the boys grew up and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob. So, we see their dad had a special place in his heart for Esau who was the first born, but his mom had stronger feelings for Jacob. We skipped quite a bit by reading those small portions of scripture but in chapter 25 it showed us a little bit of how Esau thought about things. At this time, there were two really big deals that happened to the oldest son. One was the birthright; the second was the blessing. The birthright had to do about inheritance and leadership within the family. In chapter 25, we can see in 29-34 verses that Esau was more concerned about putting food in his stomach than the birthright, so he sold it to Jacob for some food. What we then read in chapter 27 has to do with his blessing--that also had great significance at this time. Children craved their father’s blessing. We see a couple of things happening here. Jacob’s mother helped Jacob trick his dad into giving him Esau’s blessing. As we read, we saw what the blessing said. When it was too late to take it back, Isaac realized what had happened. In verse 36 we read, though, Esau was not totally honest with his dad. He said Jacob took his birthright, which is not exactly correct. Esau sold it willingly for some food. But we see his dad’s love and compassion for Esau. Isaac knew he could not change Jacob’s blessing. It was binding before God, but he did what he could. Esau’s blessing acknowledged Esau’s life will be hard, but he would break the chains to his brother at some point. Isaac was a loving father that knew his one son would do alright. He had the birthright and the blessing. But he wanted Esau to also know I love you and I feel the hurt you feel.
Now I would like to quickly shift to the New Testament and share the story of the prodigal son. We find this story in Luke 15:11-32. Most all of us have read this story many times or heard it talked about in Sunday School or from the pulpit. I am not going to read it this morning. I will simply retell it to refresh our memories. As I am sure you recall, there was a dad who also had two sons. At some point, the younger son told his dad I want my portion of your inheritance. Apparently at this time that was something that you could ask for. So, his dad gave him what he would inherit. He left for what he probably wanted to believe would be fame and fortune, but the exact opposite occurred. In a short time, he was broke. He reduced himself to working on a pig farm, something no Jewish person would ever do, to try to get by. Before long he realized his dad’s hired men had it much better off than he did. I am going back home he said to himself. Not as a son but as a hired man. His dad saw him coming from a distance and said to some of his men we are going to have a party. To the younger son’s credit, he admitted he deserved nothing from his dad. He just wanted a job. When the older brother heard all the commotion and found out it was for his wayward younger brother, he was mad. How could you do this dad? It is not fair. But he explained to his oldest son all this will some day be yours. I appreciate your dedication and commitment, but I thought I would never see your brother again. I love you son, but I never stopped praying for and loving your younger brother. As we look at these two dads, we see men who loved their sons. Obviously, it could have been about daughters just as well. These are dads who showed God’s love, God’s mercy, God’s compassion and yet also showed God’s integrity. This Father’s Day I hope you all first off have some good memories of your dads, whether they are still alive today or have already gone ahead and are in the presence of the Lord. The truth is none of our dads were perfect, but I pray you can remember how God used your dad or an important father figure to help you become the person of God you are today. And for the dads here today or watching where you are, God still has important work for you to do. You men of God are being watched all the time. We must continue to step up and accept the challenge God has placed before us. I have been so blessed to not only have a great dad but also some great men who modeled God the Father to me. So, to all you men today, I encourage you in the Lord to keep doing your best. God will use you in a mighty way. Thank you and have a great Father’s Day! With God’s help, we will make a difference in our families and in our part of the world that the Lord has placed you in.
June: We will worship in the sanctuary at 10:00 for those who feel comfortable coming. Physical distancing must be maintained and the wearing of face masks, please. We will also continue the facebook live service for those who wish to stay home. We have not started Sunday School yet.
July 1: Denominational Worship Gathering will take place virtually at 7:00 pm Central. It will center around the theme: “New World Coming!” Two of my cousins will be performing a musical number, probably with handbells since that is their forte`. A children’s worship will take place at 6:30 p.m. www.brethren.org/ac/virtual Follow the links to connect that evening.
July 2: an online Church of the Brethren concert, also at 7:00 p.m. The link above is the one to connect to the concert as well. Trust me (Carol), all of these events will be very well done and well worth your time to watch.
July 8: Board Meeting
Daily Bread: June – August issue is available.
THANK YOU to the people who have been mowing!!! This chore is greatly appreciated.
THANK YOU to all who helped in any way with our revised edition of the Strawberry Festival!! We will report the proceeds when we have finalized the figures, but it was successful.
THANK YOU to the State Bank of Cerro Gordo for the grant money that we have received.
First Sunday of the month: Food Banks
Food needs: boxes of cereal, boxes of prepared foods, such as soups, potatoes, rice, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly
This month please consider sending The Lord’s Storehouse a monetary donation. The address is PO Box 229, La Place, IL 61936.
Donation Box June: Vacation Bible School; we host in 2021.
Larry Traxler’s phone number: 217-454-2362
Keep in Your Prayers
Anna Gentry Thompson; Arnold Schultz; Steve Fansler; Clyde and Nancy Fansler; Shirley Clarkson; Mike Seidenstricker; Adiline Young; Barb Baker; Kim Lehmann; Dylan Junior; Doug Fansler; Liam Martina; Ali Bryant; Jeff Sawyer; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose Larrick; Gary Jesse; Norm & Marge Starr; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo Hanaver; Zola Copeland and family; Jennifer Like; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders; Joe Martina’s cousin who has COVID-19; the families of the 120,000+ people who have died from COVID-19; protesters
Military and Other Services and their families
Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers
Prayers and cards of encouragement are requested for:
Zola Copeland – 214 E. Fitch St. Forsyth, IL 62535-9668
Anna Rose Larrick – C/O Evergreen Place #110
4825 E. Evergreen Ct. Decatur IL 62521
Shawn Cain – 208 West Wait St. Cerro Gordo IL 61818
Robert Cripe – 21 Park Street Danville IL 61832