June 8, 2013

The Rev. Patricia M. Grace: Knowing Jesus’ father as our own

“See what kind of love the father has given us, that we should be called children of God.” — 1 John 3:1

It’s June, the month we celebrate fathers. My own father will have been gone from this life 34 years this fall, yet no Father’s Day ever passes that I don’t remember him and give thanks for the years we had together.

My father was not perfect, but took seriously what he believed was his greatest blessing, that he was given the opportunity to love and form three little girls. He was a “homebody,” preferring to spend time with us and our mother over any other pastime. And although we didn’t have a lot of money growing up, Dad always saw to it that we had some kind of wonderful summer vacation. Many Father’s Days were spent at the beach or taking trips to area historical and cultural attractions.

The best part of all those days was that we had our father to ourselves and carefree time to spend together. My dad taught me that I could do or be anything I dreamed of, as long as I was willing to work for it. He modeled how to love other people, especially people who were very different from us. My dad taught me to drive, to find and sing the harmony line of any song, to tell a good story or joke, to read a map and write a good letter. He trained me to look for joy and laughter and hidden blessings at all times, but especially when things were the darkest and most troubling. My dad led me to love and trust God like a father, no matter what, just like he did.  

It was in knowing my father that I came to know the fatherly love of God and to appreciate the amazing gift of being God’s adopted child. I know that in this I am most fortunate. Many people struggle to know God as a loving father, having missed this experience in their lives.

But nevertheless, Jesus invites all of us to know his father as our own. He gave us a prayer to say to remind us of that — the one that starts with “our father ...” Jesus tells us we can even call his father Abba, or Daddy, and reminds us often in his stories and sayings that despite all the ways we fail to measure up to God’s love, or the many things we lack in this life, we can always count on being welcomed by God as beloved children. We can always count on being called children of God, that relationship purchased for us at great price by God’s own son, and one that can never be undone by human failure or sinfulness.

Happy Father’s Day to all you earthly dads. Happy Father’s Day to all of us who are claimed as God’s own children no matter what.

Patricia M. Grace is rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Dalton.

Text Only
  • Dalton Dulcimers to perform for Guild’s In Concert program

    The Creative Arts Guild will welcome the Dalton Dulcimers at its next In Concert program on Thursday.

    April 12, 2014

  • Bryan Collins: The truth of the resurrection

    April 11, 2014

  • Earl Brackin Band to perform at Dalton State

    The Olympic Games have historically been an effective way of bringing people from all corners of the world and all walks of life together.

    April 6, 2014

  • The Rev. G. David Henderson: Satan’s worldwide anti-Christ religion — now in our midst!

    Since my devotional last month, many claiming to be followers of Jesus have written the Forum of this newspaper, wrongfully proclaiming God doesn’t require followers of Jesus to obey the moral laws God gave to Moses and Israel — reputably known as the Ten Commandments. The author of our Bible (the Holy Spirit) responds with divine disgust and anger, “such isn’t so” (“God forbid” — Romans 6:15)!

    April 4, 2014

  • The Rapha House: Eating disorders

    Every year a week in February is designated as National Eating Disorders Awareness Week by The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). The theme for 2014 was “I Had No Idea” stressing the need to address misconceptions about eating disorders.

    March 23, 2014

  • Final performance for senior dancers

    This year, 11 “sisters in dance” will perform together for the last time.

    March 22, 2014

  • Church news

    News and notes from area churches.

    March 21, 2014

  • The Rev. Rodney B. Weaver: Where is God

    How will this play out?
    A northern female (a native of Detroit, Mich.) comes to a small Southern town called Dalton. This female has now been arrested for the death of a convenience store worker. Known for being the Carpet Capital of the World, Dalton now has the distinction of being the location of a horrific murder.

    March 21, 2014

  • Chester V. Clark IIIThe miracle of life

    \With spring in the air and the dogwoods starting to bud, my reflections turn again to the miracle that we call life. Call me simple, easily impressed or perennially forgetful; but isn’t it amazing that dormant plants and trees can come to life again after the bitter cold of winter?

    March 14, 2014

  • Bryan Collins: Spring cleaning

    As this article is being written, the next day’s weather forecast is for that powerful polar vortex to once again dip down into our area, producing cold temperatures and maybe even a little frozen precipitation.

    March 7, 2014