|Ministry Musings are also included on the latest pewsheet|
The month of June tends to fill me with a mixture of emotions. There is usually the slight shock of disbelief that we are nearly halfway through the year, but also the delight of midsummer and anticipation of the summer holidays. Nowadays of course, June also brings us an opportunity to celebrate fathers, with Father’s Day, which this year falls on June 16th.
Of course, not everyone has a good relationship with their father, which must cause them some pain when others are sharing a special day with a father figure. Also this can make the Christian idea of referring to God as Father uncomfortable and difficult.
Relationships are so important to us, and over the years I’ve become convinced that God created us humans so we could have a relationship with Him – and this comes on many different levels according to our needs and our maturity. In its wisdom the Church refers to God as the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit - a way of describing the various characteristics of God, and many of us feel we ‘know’ one part of God better than others.
I think calling Him Father is sort of ‘shorthand’ for acknowledging the aspects of God one might attribute to a loving parent, for example advice, correction, guidance and, above all, love. Sometimes we can get rather bogged down by using such words as almighty and eternal, used to describe our God who is not physically visible and is not tied down by time or distance. This can give us the impression He is a mysterious, distant figure, but I am confident that He wants us to get to know Him better, that He is ever present with us, and is approachable and willing to be our companion always.
Talking and listening to God is a good way of getting to know Him, and we have Jesus and His Spirit to help us in this. God’s Son, Jesus, was born into a human family, and knew what it was like to share a home with brothers and sisters, earn a living and face opposition from those who hated Him. He is someone who is probably easier to relate to, and is a good example for us.
God’s Spirit also is there to help us understand and relate to God, prompting, guiding and comforting us, especially at difficult times.
As you turn to God to talk to and listen to Him, maybe words of a prayer attributed to Richard of Chichester might be helpful.
May we know you more clearly,
May you know God’s blessings and find a closer relationship with Him as the months pass. Barbara