I have always believed that a special celebration like Fathers' Day was an American marketing invention to ensure that within gaps in the calendar, there will be sufficient reason, excuse or demand to keep consumers happily buying all sorts of things. But I have learnt to accept that after all it provides a special focus date to celebrate fatherhood. When we celebrate this day, we celebrate mankind itself. If the fathers stopped being fathers, mankind would also stop. The death of the human race would inevitably ensue. However I can say the same thing for mothers, as the fatherhood of a man is made possible with the help of a mother.
Fathers' Day is a happy occasion. It is not that the children all of a sudden on this day remember that they have a father that they should greet in a special way today. Or maybe a special treat for the father may be in the programme for the day. Or maybe the mother would give a special lunch or dinner. Many pleasant memories arise about the great times we had as a family. Indeed it may be a happy occasion but to me it also brings to mind some of the difficult things I had faced being a father, the silent sighs, the agonising times, the thorny problems that somehow or other besieged the family, during which time I was expected to show strength and not weakness and vulnerability, courage and not cowardice and timidity, encouraging smiles and not shameful tears.
However, it brings to mind also how I find those expected qualities not in myself BUT in our Great Father God who covers us with His strength, His glory, His joy, His presence and provision. I only had to enter into His presence and stare at His beauty and His loving embrace would dissolve all my problems and anxieties.
How I wish that we celebrated a special feast day for God the Father. There isn't one. There are many feast days in honour of Jesus and Mary and all the saints but not one just for the Father. There is Trinity Sunday of course which we celebrate on the first Sunday of Pentecost but there is no feast day just for the Father. This Fathers' Day therefore we should remember not only the human fathers but our ever-loving all-powerful Eternal Father who created us.
Father God, help us to be your co-creators spreading Your joy, love, and strength to the others around us. Amen.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven. Matt 5:16