Sermon – Fathers’ Day 21 June 2020 by Revd Andrew Warmback

Greeting in Jesus’ name on Fathers’ Day!

Thank you to the women of the parish, including those from the MU, the AWF, the Youth and one of our children for your creative and meaningful contributions this Sunday.

Please find the text of this combined sermon below


Good morning people of St Paul’s.  Happy Fathers’ Day! We begin with creative contributions from some of our members. There are messages of appreciation and encouragement and prayers from women within the parish, including from our Mothers’ Union, Anglican Women’s Fellowship and Youth. We thank them all for the effort that they have put into producing these. I add some reflections on this theme, with one other final contribution at the very end. We begin with a prayer by one of our children, Mikhenso Seraphim.

Mikhenso Serafim

Hello everyone, my name is Mikhenso.  Let us pray: O Lord our God, creator of heaven and earth, through your son, Jesus Christ, you have revealed yourself as a heavenly Father to all of your children.  Bless we pray, all earthly fathers.  Strengthen them to nurture, protect and guide the children entrusted to their care. Instil within them the virtues of love and patience.  May they be slow to anger, quick to forgive and through the ministrations of your Holy Spirit may all the fathers be strong and steadfast, examples of faithfulness, responsibility and loving kindness. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

Shantel Mbambo

Good morning, family of St Paul’s. Hope you are keeping well. Today we celebrate a special day – Fathers’ Day.  This day is dedicated to all fathers.

God bless all the fathers in the world. Guide them to be good role models and loving to all their children. Help them to be a father like you are. Give them grace and patience to handle all situations in a loving way. Fathers everywhere we honour you and wish to say may God’s blessings be with you in a special way today and always. May God continue to bless you abundantly.  May you continue to be an inspiration to your communities and continue to be a blessing to your families, in God’s name. Amen.

Neelano on behalf of the youth

In trying to find or write down a Fathers’ Day message, one that will touch your heart and make you feel special, I spent a lot of time not knowing where to begin or possibly where to end.  And I kept on scratching off and erasing what I had already wrote. I guess to me in not being able to find the right words signifies how special fathers are, and the vital role that they play in our lives.

All I can simply say is Happy Fathers’ Day and hope that this day is a memorable one, one that showcases how much you are loved and how valued you are.  So from the youth of St Paul’s to you we wish you a very Happy Fathers’ Day.

Remona McKenzie

A very good morning to all the fathers. F for faithful; A for always there; T for trustworthy; H for honouring; E for ever loving; R for righteous; S for supportive.

The quality of fathers can be seen in the goals, dreams and aspirations they set not only for themselves but for their families. Your love as fathers shows in every interaction.  A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.  I would like to wish you a happy Fathers’ Day from the AWF women of St Paul’s.

Let us pray. Today, Almighty God, as we observe Fathers’ Day, I lift all the fathers of this world up to you with adoration and love. Fathers play an integral role in the lives of our children as mentors, providers, caregivers and so much more and also provide a firm foundation on which our children stand. Thank you Lord for our provision and showering them with your divine blessing.  I pray that you will consecrate fathers and set them apart for your purpose. God our Father, in your wisdom and your love you made all things.  Bless those fathers who have taken upon themselves the responsibility of parenting.  Bless those who have lost a spouse to death or other who are parenting their children alone. Strengthen them by your love that they may be and become the loving caring fathers they are meant to be.

I pray that you empower, protect and strengthen them in all that they do and to protect them during this time of Covid-19.  Grant this through Christ our Lord.  In your mercy, Amen.

Video from Mothers’ Union, includes

A great dad makes memories, goes on great adventures, always puts his family first, makes sacrifices, is patient, always has the time for his kids, is a great teacher, loves his kids and his mother unconditionally.

Ephesians 6:4  “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”

Exodus 20:12  “Honour your father and your mother, that you may live a long time in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

Happy Fathers’ Day!

Psalm 127:3-5  “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.  Blessed is that man whose quiver is full of them.”

Deuteronomy 6: 6&7 “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise.”

Proverbs 12:2, 14: 29, 10: 9, 14:26 “A good man obtains favour from the Lord.  A patient man has great understanding. The man of integrity walks securely.  He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge.”

Proverbs 22:6  “Direct your children on the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”

Proverbs 20: 7 “The righteous man walks in his integrity.  His children are blessed after him.”

Isaiah 49: 15-16 “I will not forget you. I have written your name in the palm of my hands.”

Happy Fathers’ Day to all the dad, step dads, granddads, uncles, brothers, cousins and friends that step up to show a child what it truly means to be a father.

1 Corinthians 6:18 God the perfect father.  I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters days the Lord Almighty.

Ephesians 6:2-3 “Honour your father and your mother, which is the first commandment that it may go well with you and that you enjoy long life.”

Happy Fathers’s Day!

Dr Claudine Hingston

Happy Fathers’ Day to all the fathers of St Paul’s.  You are blessed to be fathers for children are a heritage from the Lord, an offspring, a reward from him.  As Psalm 127 states blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.  Being a father, though, is a tough but incredibly fulfilling job.  However, with God in your life you can be a successful father.  Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress and their children will be a refuge.  Do not provoke your children though to anger but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Start your children off on the way that they should go so that even when they are old they will not turn from it.

The quality of your fatherhood should therefore be seen in the goals, dreams and aspirations you set for yourself and your family.  As a father remember that your children follow by example so lead by being a good example yourself. You are the guiding light whose love shows your children the way.  On this Fathers’ Day I pray that God will give you the wisdom and strength to be the best father for your children.

Have a great Fathers’ Day. God bless you all.

Lebo Mkhize 

Men of St Paul’s we would love to wish you a wonderful Fathers’ Day.  We prayer that God blesses you as leaders and protectors of our homes, hoping that you will also be champions in the fight against sexual, gender based viole

God blesses you and protects you. Happy Fathers’ Day!

Mama Dudu Khumalo

Greetings to all the Fathers of St Pauls and throughout the world. I’ve always wondered why you are called by this great name “Father”. Today’s Old Testament reading Genesis 21:8-21 gave me an answer. The Lord said to Abraham it is through your son Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. Even today it is through you that our offspring is reckoned. You give a name to us. It is not always easy to be a father, but when things were difficult for David he wrote todays Psalm 86 looking to the one whom he could believe and trust. When things don’t work out use this Psalm and also remember Psalm 46:1 which says “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble”. Have a Blessed and Peaceful Father’s Day and a future filled with His Mercy and Love.

“Happy Fathers’ Day” We love you all.  Amen.

Doreen Senoge

My dear brother.  Good day and Happy Fathers’ Day. I said brother, yes, you are brothers in Christ.; but to someone out there you are a dad, you are a step dad, an uncle or a grandfather. Please know that God’s love has no limits, God’s grace has no measure and God’s power knows no boundaries.  Let’s continue to believe that by September, hopefully, this storm will be over – Covid-19’s curve will have been flattened.  As we know in the scripture Matthew 14:22-32 that we have been promised, especially Peter even wanted to walk on the ocean with Jesus, but then he did reach out to say “hold my hand.”

So let us keep our eyes on Jesus as a belief we also find in Hebrews 13 that the Lord should be our help; we shall not fear.

Happy Fathers’ Day!  We miss you and thanks for everything you do for St Paul’s until we meet safely again. Bye.

Revd Andrew Warmback

When I think of fathers I am drawn to the parable of the Prodigal or Returning son in Luke chapter 15. The younger son in the family takes half of his family’s inheritance and ends up wasting it by living a selfish and destructive life. Like any parent, the father would have felt the pain of knowing a child is destroying their life.

This father waits patiently for his son to return home.  When the wayward son eventually returns, the father welcomes him home warmly with a hug and expresses his love for him by treating him very well, celebrating his return.

When we ourselves relate to children and others for whom we are responsible in the same way as this father, we display divine qualities, Godly qualities; for we imagine God as the Good Father. In behaving in this way we act with grace: we become forgiving and so can help bring healing to the lives of others.

Our society gives fathers and men influential positions.  Let us use this power to protect, and nurture, and not to abuse, to be role models of love and caring.  Let us put the interests and needs of our children and others who are vulnerable before our own.

Like all parenting, fathering requires giving of our time, being respectful of those we relate to, being prepared to say sorry if we have acted wrongly and affirming what is positive in others.

Let us, men and women, work towards a society in which fathers are known for their constructive and positive role both within families and the community, as we try to model this at St Paul’s in the way we relate to one another.

Once again, Happy Fathers’ Day!

Amen.

Video from Mothers’ Union, includes

 Happy Fathers’ Day!

Proverbs 23:24  “The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.”

A father’s bond can never be replaced.

Proverbs 20:7 “The righteous man walks in his integrity.  His children are blessed after him.”

 

During this difficult time of the global pandemic, you are invited to make a contribution to the ministry and mission of our church by making a donation to the following account:   Account Name: St Paul’s Church      Account Number: 50854628623     Bank: First National Bank (FNB)     Branch Code: 221426