Father’s Day (in Christ there is no east or west)

with my dad - image by Naomi Campbell
with my dad – image by Naomi Campbell

See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! 1 John 3:1

Join hands, disciples of the faith, whate’er your race may be! (John Oxenham, 1908)

This is going to be a great Fathers’ Day! Three of our four children will be with us at WFPC, along with both grandchildren, three of our dearest friends from our Pensacola days, and – to top it all off – both of my parents.

I understand that the history of Fathers’ Day is a somewhat contrived phenomenon, something generated by the greetings-card industry. But, as someone who enjoys counting my blessings – and taking special note of them, I like to think that no great idea should go un-celebrated.

Being a dad is an amazing privilege! Being a son is marvelous too. Being able to celebrate both at the same time is spectacular, something beyond wonderful.

family - photo by Naomi Campbell
family – photo by Naomi Campbell

ABBA FATHER: It’s true that there are many useful descriptive words for God, and very few of them are gender specific; but the terms “Father,” and “Mother” remain among my favorites. I think it’s because I remember so clearly the incredible tenderness with which Rebekah and I would hold our children, the complete commitment we invested in the challenge of parenting, the soul-crushing grief we experienced when they were struggling or hurt, the intoxicating gladness that overwhelmed us when they were happy.

When I understand God as father and mother, that’s when I begin to grasp the height, the depth, the breadth, and the length of God’s yearning for relationship with each one of us – for we really are God’s children.

As beloved children of God, we are all one family. God’s spiritual adoption rules out gender distinctions, race, age, political affiliation, philosophy, education, wealth, and any other preference or exclusion we can possibly imagine.

992_racesIt is Fathers’ Day! We are all in the same family. There is no strand of DNA that could ever rule out our relatedness in Christ.

Your brother – DEREK

In Christ there is no East or West, in him no South or North, but one great fellowship of love throughout the whole wide earth.

Join hands, disciples of the faith,
whate’er your race may be!
Who serves my Father as a [child]
is surely kin to me. (John Oxenham, 1908)


  1. I’m so thankful for God as a father. A good friend of mine is Muslim, and she was telling me that they don’t view Allah as their Father, and the thought surprised me a bit since seeing God as a father that loves me is such an integral part of my faith. It’s likely one of the most comforting truths we’re blessed with.


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