On the first Sunday of Spring, the Banksias on this pretty coast are flowering as are the Australian emblems the Wattles, in all their profusion and variety, whatever the weather throws at us!
As we welcome Philip and Margie’s safe return to us, thank you to Leonie for her support in keeping us all informed and organised so carefully. Thank you to the 8 am congregation at All Souls for our warm shared worship and breakfasts!
In the midst of the present state of the church with regard to abuse, Fathers’ Day is a good moment to give thanks for God’s ‘fathering’ of us. It was Jesus who first shocked his listeners when he spoke of God loving us like the father of the prodigal son, always on the lookout for us and our welfare and who is merciful and welcoming to us whatever our state. Only Christian faith makes this claim about God in relationship with each of us.
We can give thanks for any life-giving fathering, grandfathering, god-fathering and ‘fathering in faith’ that we may have received over our lives. I am hugely grateful. I give thanks for young adult men who spoke of Jesus as if they knew him well, when I was a teenager; the kindly fathers of friends, whom I ‘adopted’ as uncles and mentors because I had only a nuclear family in Australia; the marvellous men who have nourished my soul and spirit in church and ministry and helped me laugh at myself!! We pray for all fathering, for any in painful situations and for any who have caused pain to others.
St Paul ‘s letter for today inspires us all in our fathering and mothering, to live the challenging love of Jesus, in our relationships of God’s kingdom.