Preaching a Father’s Day Message When You’re Fatherless

My first Father’s Day Sermon

It’s not often I pat myself on the back, but last Sunday I did. I’m sure most pastors spend time after Sunday morning worship accessing the service, including their sermon. I do it every week and I usually find something that I could’ve or should’ve done differently.

Last Sunday was Father’s Day and the previous two days I criticized myself for not securing a speaker. And not because I didn’t want to preach because I did. I was just exhausted from the week before. As a matter of fact, I spent a few minutes on Saturday evening thinking of who I could call at the ninth hour to deliver a Father’s Day message. (How inconsiderate, right?) Then I thought, no, I’ll tough it out and either stay up all night or rise before the sun with hopes that the Lord will provide direction by then.

My 4 a.m. alarm sounded and with my adrenaline in high gear, I rummaged through my Bible app, perusing about four different texts before deciding to stick to John 4:46-53 because I thought it was a good text for narrative preaching.  I occasionally hear in the back of my mind my former seminary professor, Dr. Toney Parks, saying “just tell the story.”

Last Sunday morning, that’s exactly what I did. I told the story about a royal official in Capernaum who has a sick son on the verge of dying. He receives word that Jesus is in Cana again. So, he leaves Capernaum and heads to Galilee to see Jesus. When he arrives, he begs Jesus to come and heal his son. In hearing about Jesus, he also learned that Jesus was performing miracles and knowing the power Jesus had, he desperately needed it for his son. Interestingly, the official didn’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God; however, he clearly understood of His supernatural power. When the official arrives, he asked Jesus to come with him to Capernaum to heal his son who is about to die. Jesus says to him, “go, your son will live.” And the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and he went on his way. While on his way back his servants met him along the way to tell him that the boy is still alive. The official asks them what time his son’s health improved and they tell him 1:00. He said that’s what time Jesus said he would live.

When God says go,

Why does this even matter to my Say That, Girl! Audience?

A few years ago, I was asked to preach on Father’s Day and I declined the offer, stating I wasn’t ready for that. And I wasn’t. I was still striving for self-improvement in an area that gripped me for more than 30 years and at that time I couldn’t care less about Father’s Day. Fast forward to 2019 and I unashamedly preached without bleeding on my congregation for two reasons: I’ve grown, and I’ve changed my focus.

. . .I unashamedly preached without bleeding on my congregation. . .

You have to want it and you have to get the help you need to move forward. It may take years for you to get there, but that’s okay, just begin the journey. The royal official wanted his son healed. Jesus told him to go. He didn’t directly say yes or okay. He said go. You, my sisters, need to go. Go talk to someone. Go write down what’s wrong. Go find a fatherless daughter program or workshop. Go read God’s promises concerning you. Jesus told the official, “Go, your son will live.”

Don’t delay your healing because you choose not to go. Your miracle is in your go. When God says go, you’ve got to move. So now, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start making progress toward your healing. Go, you will heal.

The greatest outcome of Jesus healing the official’s son is his entire family believed. Jesus expected more than just a healed boy. He was interested in people who would believe in Him. He healed the boy and as a result, a family is saved. Your healing can lead to someone’s salvation. When others see how the Lord worked through you, their hearts will turn to Christ.

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