Posted by: District Elder James Griesbaum
On June 21, 2020, we celebrate Father’s Day. This day is a day of celebration and remembrance. We bring our thanks, honour, and praise to our fathers in appreciation for all that they have done for us. For many of us, our fathers cared for our well being, loved and protected us, taught us, and served as a role model for our future life.
The special attributes of a father are clearly outlined in the parable of “The Prodigal Son” as described in Luke 15: 11-32. In this parable, the younger of two sons requests to receive his half of his father’s estate (inheritance) early. We do not know what the father’s thoughts and feelings were when he heard this request, but in his love, he gives in and the son takes his inheritance and goes away to live in a foreign land.
We do not know how long the son was away from his father’s home but we do know that he squandered his inherited fortune on extravagant living and as a result, became desperately poor. In order to survive the son became a hired hand herding and feeding the pigs in the field. At the same time, this foreign land in which he resided was in the midst of a great famine with little or no food available.
Starving and destitute, it did not take long for the son to realize that even his father’s servants were better off than he was since they had food to spare and were not starving to death. The son, in his desperation, decided to go back to his father’s house in repentance to seek a position as a servant in his house. As he approached his father’s house, his father saw him from afar and was filled with compassion for him. The father ran to his son and threw his arms around him in great joy.
The son was not expecting such an overwhelming welcome and responded by saying “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me one of your servants.” In response, the father said to his servants “quick, bring the best robe, put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let us have a feast and celebrate, for this son of mine who was dead is alive again, he who was lost is now found.”
What a beautiful picture this reunion must have been. The love of the father for his son was not in any way diminished. His heart and home were open. He was willing to share that which was the best for his child. The father was filled with joy and happiness.
Brothers and sisters, we also have such a heavenly Father. Our heavenly Father loves us, His heart is open to us. He wants to share with us all that He has and that which is of only the best for us. Our heavenly Father longs for the day when we will be reunited with Him and His Son, the Lord Jesus, for all eternity. Despite our faults and failings, our heavenly Father in His unconditional love and compassion is willing to forgive us.
Let us continue to appreciate and bring thanks to our fathers as well as our heavenly Father for all that they have done and continue to do for each one of us. The best gift we can bring to our heavenly Father is our continued faithfulness and following until the return of our Lord Jesus Christ!