Friday, June 26, 2015


FATHER'S DAY:  What a great day to talk about reconciliation!  Our relationship with our fathers is probably the most significant relationship we will have, at least in terms of early influence, molding and shaping personality.   A father's influence (for good or bad) is huge.   And when there's a rift in that relationship, it can be huge.  And painful.  Fortunately for us, we have a Father-God who values relationships, understands pain and separation from His children, and has the answer to reconciliation at the deepest level.

This was a really special Father's Day for me, because for the first time in a long time I got to celebrate it with my daughter Beth (and as a bonus, I got to hold my new granddaughter Emma during worship!)    During the service, I was thanking God that there is no rift existing between me and either of my children.  I am really, really blessed that way.  I also thought about my own father, who died several years ago.  We had a difficult relationship, but at the end of his life, God gave us an opportunity for reconciliation.    We reached that reconciliation because (1) God gave me the grace to offer forgiveness to my dad, and (2)  God gave me the courage to make the first move.  (Something I seem to remember Caz talking about....)

Caz said something Sunday that I thought was really important:  to achieve reconciliation in a relationship, you need to first reconcile any rifts in your relationship with God, and then approach reconciliation with the other person.  He mentioned that the order of doing that is important.  That makes a lot of sense to me.  In my life, it's only been because of my relationship with God, the perfect Father, that I had the grace and love in my heart to reach out to others who had hurt me.  That order is also important because, as you probably know, attempts at reconciliation don't always work.  You can do everything "right" and still not be received well by the other person.  Once again, we have to remind ourselves that our only responsibility in such cases is to be obedient to what God has asked us to do, and then leave the results up to Him.   Otherwise, we may hold on to hurt and resentment, which has terrible consequences on our life  Don't think that person deserves your forgiveness?  Or that that hurt is too big to let go of?  Consider this thought that I read recently:
The only One who is absolutely pure, who has the absolute right not to forgive, chose to forgive you.   

God desires restoration and reconciliation-- and letting go of any bitterness you might have in your  heart towards another person--- because He wants what's best for you.   And because He is the one perfect Father, we can trust Him to be everything we need to fill in the gaps left in our lives by others.

Pastor Rick