Weekly Sermon
Delivered By
Dr. E. G. Sherman, Jr
Delivered On
June 17, 2018 at 10:45 AM
Subject
Our Heavenly Father
Description

Our Heavenly Father
“ Fear not little flock for it is your father’s good pleasure to give  you the kingdom” Luke 12:32
“For this my son was dead, and is alive, he was lost, and is found.  And they began to be merry” Luke 15:24
The position of father has existed throughout history. Among
its many obligations has been that of leadership. Owing to the
scope of the leadership responsibility, the father has been viewed
as a patriarch.  That term denotes unilateral power and it was
quite evident during the Old Testament period. In fact, the word
patriarch was frequently used to describe the Old Testament
Fathers. Whereas the Old Testament placed great emphasis on the
earthly father and viewed Jehovah as a being to be worshiped, the
New Testament embodied a two fold approach to fatherhood; it
recognized the importance of the earthly father, but it placed get
emphasis on the heavenly father as the pattern by which earthly
fatherhood should be structured.
Our sermon for this Father’s Day, 2018, will follow the New
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Testament view and explore the subject, Our Heavenly Father.
The sermon will be ungirded by three objectives, namely:
1. to highlight the nature of American fatherhood
2. to depict the Heavenly Father
3. to identify some benefits to be obtained from the            Heavenly Father.
Prior to addressing these objective, brief attention will be
focused on the word, father. This concept can be viewed on one
of two levels; the first is that of biology where the word denotes
a male who has caused a female to have a child for him. This is
called the father of procreation. The other type of father is often
viewed as social.  It refers to a male who is founder or leader of
a new movement. George Washington, for example, is referred to
as the father of our country.  In a similar manner, Martin Luther
King, Jr. is referred to as the father of the 20th Civil Rights
Movement. However, father – as used in the sermon today – will
refer to a spiritual being, the one to whom Jesus referred to and
taught his disciples to call “Our Father”.
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Against this background, let us now explore the earlier
identified objectives – the first of which is that of Fatherhood in
America.  Fatherhood was a lofty position in America during
Colonial times. The father was provider, role model, patriarch, and
defender of his wife and children.  Unfortunately, that pattern
applied only to the white population for in 1619 a repressive form
of fatherhood appeared; it was imposed on the slave population.
That type of family life became known as the absent father
structure.  Within that setting, the male was dispensable: he could
be whipped in the presence of his children, his wife could be
insulted while he looked, helplessly, at the action, his children
could be disposed as property, and he was prohibited from
participating in religious activities, including teaching his children
about the Heavenly Father.
Fatherhood in America entails many different forms based on
factors that include:   race, income, religion, and social class.
Against these factors, a specific type of fatherhood emerges. Thus,

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there may be an affluent or a poverty ridden father. Likewise, there
may be an industrious or a lazy father. While acknowledging that
there is a wide range of father types, our text today reminds us that
there is a father type, democratically available to all, known as the
Heavenly Father. This biblical fact leads to the second focus of
our sermon – The Heavenly Father.
The prevalence of this father type is a theme that runs
throughout the Bible.  The Old Testament description of Father
hood emphasized the physical father, but also it recognized God,
or Jehovah, as the Supernatural to whom they Jewish people
should make sacrifices and bestow honor. Additionally, the Old
Testament tells of the believing father, Abraham; the weak father,
Eli; and the prosperous father, Job.  But the Bible takes a wider
emphasis in the New Testament, a focus that came with the birth
of Jesus.  Whereas the Old Testament had extolled the physical
father and his obligations to worship God, the New Testament –
through the teaching of Jesus – placed emphasis on worshiping

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God, but also in patterning earthly fatherhood in accordance with
the Heavenly Father’s expectations. In so conducting himself, the
earthly father can position himself to receive benefits from the
Heavenly Father; this assertion leads to the final consideration
of the sermon – what does the Heavenly Father offer to the
children who believe and follow him?
It is a fact that many children, especially those of African
American origin, have been deprived of a caring earthly father, but
it must never be forgotten that every person has access to the
Heavenly Father whose pleasure it is to give us the kingdom.
( Luke 12:32 ). This Heavenly Father is fully capable of suppling
all of our needs. He is an energy principle for the exhausted; he
is a consoling source for those who are grieved; he is a guiding
agent for those who are lost; and he the redemptive one for those
who are without salvation.  Oh! we might have been, or currently
may be, as the Prodigal Son, but the pathway is yet open for us to
return to the Heavenly Father. Amen.  Happy Father’s Day!

 

 

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