Articles, activities for boomers & seniors
June. It’s the sixth month of the Gregorian calendar. It’s the name of everyone’s favorite housewife, Mrs. Cleaver. The month of June was named after Juno, the queen of the Roman goddesses. It has romantic connotations, in that it is often used in love poems because it rhymes with moon, spoon, croon, tune, baboon, and countless other words, apparently not all of which are romantic! There are more weddings in June than any other month. “June” brings up 571,000,000 hits on Google.
Despite the fierce competition from “Hug Holiday,” “National Fragrance Week,” “Headache Awareness Week (for when the honeymoon wears off),” and “National Pest Control Month (for when the honeymoon REALLY wears off!),” Father’s Day remains the most popular holiday of the month.
One variation of the “father” role in some cultures is that of “godfather.” The godfather serves as a sponsor for a child at baptism or confirmation, pledging to care for the child should calamity befall the natural father. Often the child receives the godfather’s name at the time of dedication. There is often a special relationship between the godfather and the child.
No doubt you’re wondering when I’m going to mention the “Godfather” movies! That godfather is the head of a crime family, and is responsible for caring for the “family” and “protecting” those around him. Don Corleone was best known for making “an offer he can’t refuse!” Not the best role model.
Gladly, there is a Father Whom we can trust to take care of us in every situation and to provide for and protect us. This One is God the Father, the true Godfather.
The image of God as Father was not well developed in the Old Testament, but it is the most dominant concept of God in the New Testament. The fatherhood of God is presented in two ways: He is the Father of Jesus Christ, the unique Son of God (Matthew 11:25-27), and the Father of individual believers by virtue of adoption (Romans 8:15-17).
Everyone has a father in the spiritual sense. Jesus made that plain when upbraiding the religious but unbelieving crowds in John chapter 8. Their claim to righteousness was that they had Abraham as their father. Jesus reminded them that God was his Father, and if they were also God’s children, they would listen to him. He exposed them as being children of the devil, thereby distinguishing believers from unbelievers, all the while inviting everyone to come to him to be born into God’s family.
The apostle Paul reminds us that we can call God “Abba,” which is the Aramaic word for “Father.” However, it is a more intimate, less formal term, the word that a child would use to express complete, innocent trust. God invites us to share a simple, trusting relationship with the Creator and Sustainer of the universe! Jesus himself taught the disciples to pray, “Our Father.”
Because Jesus is the second Person of the Trinity, he, too, is referred to as Everlasting Father in Isaiah 9:6. As God, he is Father. As man, he is Son. He shares the nature and experiences of both, and can sympathize and help with any circumstance.
When we are adopted by faith into the family of God, we receive His name. The word “Christian” means “little Christ” or “follower of Christ.” And believers are called “saints” and “godly ones.” So we bear the Godfather’s name, which is a weighty responsibility. The child who loves his father wants to live to be like him and live up to his name.
God the Father does, however, make us an offer we cannot refuse. He asks everyone to come to Him in faith through Christ to be saved from the penalty of sin and be born into His family.
Would you refuse the Godfather?