A Dad’s Wake-up Call

This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David,the son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers…Matthan the father of Jacob,and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah. (Matthew 1:1-2…15b-16).

Sunday was the first real day of spring after a brutal winter, so I did the normal thing. I took a long walk.

I am fairly new to my town and have done a lot of walking because I do not have a car. But I haven’t seen everything since the actual land area of the city is quite large. Thus, I took a slightly different route over to the college campus where I work in order to further explore. It took me past the high school. 

It’s a pretty large campus for a small city. The school and its fields sit next to the river which flows through the middle of town and divides the mundane downtown from the more lively university area.

As I strolled by the football stadium, boasting a sign giving tribute to state championships in the ’30s and ’40s, I meditated on whether my youngest son would fit in this place. I work 400 miles away from the town where he currently attends high school.

My thought processes made me reflect on my role as a Dad. I never grasped until this day that perhaps one reason God put the genealogy of Jesus at the beginning of the New Testament was to emphasize the importance of fathers. Some were good and some were bad, but they all influenced  their sons.

To God, even stepdads are important. Joseph was not Jesus’s father. The Holy Spirit was. Yet, God entrusted Joseph, along with his mother, with raising him. However, Jesus also had a close relationship with His birth father, one which He also wants us to have.

Henri Nouwen writes,”Everything Jesus is saying to you can be summarized in the words.’know that you are welcome.’  Jesus offers you his most intimate life with the Father. He wants you to know all he knows and to do all he does. He wants his home to be yours. Yes, he wants to prepare a place for you in his Father’s house.” 
Last Sunday was the fourth Sunday of Lent and is known in the UK as Mothering Sunday, a day to honor mothers. But for me, it was a day to emphasize the importance of my role as a father. 
There is no doubt I have the power to affect my children just because I am their father.  I don’t have to do anything to have an impact in their lives because as their father I will change them in intangible and indirect ways. 
 If I actually take direct actions related to my children, my impact will be huge. I can either be a passive Dad and let the power I have just flow willy-nilly, which may result in chaos for them, or I can actually take actions to affect them in positive ways. It’s my choice. 

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