I read this in church this morning and thought to put it up.
This is a reading to the men who are our fathers.
As you stand today in celebration, in remembrance, in prayer, with hope and joy and fear in your hearts, I remind you that you are a man. I remind you that we—in this church, in this community, in this city, in this world—need you because of that.
We don’t need your skills necessarily. We don’t require your cultivated talents, though they can be useful. We don’t need your ingenuity or your success or the long list of things you’ve done or hope to do.
You should work hard, be diligent in vocation, and perhaps that creates the background of manhood. Still, there is a greater vocation than your productivity.
This is not a common message, even on Father’s Day, but it is true. This church, this city, this world, and all the people that make up the world as you know it, need you.
We need you to stand up today in a million ways as you leave the beautiful space that is this sanctuary, to step down the blocks of the city and to re-present the divinity you are reminded of by coming to worship.
We need you changing the worlds of your jobs or homes or play places by your small and large acts of faithfulness and elegance and goodness and power, coming in the form of stopping violence whenever you meet it, quelling wickedness in all its clothes, and stalling the principalities of the anti-kingdom.
We need you pleading by your presence for justice that comes through men who love with all their hearts, who encourage when life doesn’t, who inspire when situations break the spirit.
We need you leading the way in loving perfectly and without fear, surrendering your pride and your ego and offering them in the hand of God in order to gain something greater and better and deeper.
We need you taking the first position of serving and working and toiling for the good of those around you, especially when those around you cannot return your good efforts.
We need you raising children, whether those you conceived with women you love, those you conceived with women you don’t, or those you did not conceive at all because all of them need a father and because there’s no reason you can’t be that man.
We need you praying however you can and to do it daily because only God can be the strength behind and under and around a good man.
We need you loving the women in your lives, be they spouses or mothers or sisters or friends or women you don’t know because they are all precious and strong and valiant and expect us to treat them accordingly.
We need you living up to the words in the greeting, “Happy Father’s Day,” taking every word seriously, pursuing your happiness and that of others, embodying what it means to be a generative, creative man who gives and loves and serves, and living one day at a time like it is precious and filled with grace.
We need you living in response to the grace of God, and so, finally, the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. Amen.