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Sunday, June 15, 2014

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY MESSAGE BY BISHOP DR.VARGHESE L.MATHAI

(New World Publication is lucky to have distinguished writers like Respected Bishop Dr.Varghese L.Mathai who has contributed many articles and messages from time to time. We are always obliged to these great writers who made our Publication a very popular one in a relatively short time) New World Editorial Board


FATHERS DAY WISHES!!

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My Dear Friends & Families:

As a contributing reader and writer of New World Publications(
www.newworldstories.com)It is my pleasure to greet you in the precious name of Jesus Christ, and wish all the men among us -- the fathers and grand fathers-- a very Happy Fathers Day!!

“Father's Day is a beautiful festival that acknowledges and appreciates the important role played by a father in raising the child and consequently building a stronger society. Though fathers have been revered at all times by civilizations across the globe, ironically what was missing until the last century was the official recognition of the significance of fathers in ones life.” Remember, there were an estimated 159,000 stay-at-home dads ( known as Mr. Moms ) in 2006 who cared for 283,000 children! I presume that there are far more ‘dead-beat dads’ too hovering around us!

Father or Pater or Abba (Appa or Papa) has been the number one “priority” in every civilization on earth! In God's sight, the father is the Priest, Provider and Protector of the family. Such families give birth to healthy and emotionally balanced children who in turn make healthy societies and healthy nations.

God Almighty is the King and Father of the universe. The apostle Paul when greeting the early churches wrote, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (example Eph 1:2). St. Paul said on another occasion, " For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named" (Eph. 3:14). When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray He started it with this phrase, "Our Father Which art in Heaven," so as to teach us to acknowledge the Father in Heaven, as well as our human fathers on earth, to represent Him!

When God gave the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) through Moses, a very important part of it was: "Honor your father and your mother that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you" (Exodus 20:20:12). When Saint Paul quotes this in the New Testament, he calls it "the first commandment with promise"( Eph. 6:1- 2). So, the first commandment is to honor your parents in the Lord, and the promise is a healthy long life!

BRIEF HISTORY OF FATHERS DAY IN THE UNITED STATES:

Father's Day is a celebration inaugurated in the early twentieth century to complement Mother's Day in celebrating fatherhood and male parenting, and to honor and commemorate fathers and forefathers.

The first known celebration of Father's Day was on July 5, 1908 in Fairmont, West Virginia, where it was commemorated at William Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church. A member of the Church, Grace Golden Clayton is believed to have suggested it to her pastor after a deadly explosion in nearby Monongah in December, killing 361 men.

It was also during a sermon in 1909 that Ms Sonora Smart Dodd became inspired by Mother's Day. She thought, why not a Fathers Day? After the death of her mother, Sonora and her 5 siblings were raised by their father William Smart, a Civil War veteran. Sonora wanted to show how thankful she was to her father and, because William was born in June, she worked to have the first Father's Day celebrated on June 19, 1910.

In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge recommended that Father's Day become a national holiday. President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday of June to be Father's Day in 1966. Then in 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday of June. Thanks to Sonora, today Fathers Day is celebrated in a large number of countries around the world—including India, U.S. and Canada.

Roses are the official flower on Father's Day, red for fathers who were still living and white for those who have passed on. More recently, neck-ties, tool boxes, fishing rods etc. have also become popular gift items! But the greatest gifts we can give our fathers are our time & constant care!!!

ABBA, FATHER! THE SIGNIFICANCE OF FATHERS DAY!

In a general sense, all humanity, being created by God, are God’s children. Sadly, not everybody believes in Creation! Many believe in Evolution and try to prove it is scientific. But to the Bible believers, it is a different story!

In the Biblical sense, we become the children of God when we accept Christ and are born again supernaturally (St. John 1:12-13; 3:3-7)! We grow in grace and in the power of His might! We read His Word and imbue it. The Holy Spirit which is given to us leads and guides us and fills our hearts with God’s love (Romans 5:5). We go through trials and difficulties with joy! We become partakers of Christ’s sufferings (Galatians 2:20 & Phil. 3:10)!

The Holy Spirit which we have received as born-again Christians and Who dwells in us is called the Spirit of Adoption! By this adoption experience, we become the sons (and daughters) of God! In this spiritual intimacy, we cry out to God “Abba, Father” – “My Own Dear Father” (Romans 8:14-15)!!
This is the basis of true Christianity & the supreme truth of Father’s Day!!

ON A VERY PRACTICAL LEVEL!

You may ask, “So what do we do? What is the greatest need of the hour?” A very sincere, serious question!!

We all know that we do not and always measure up to God’s standards!
But remember, God is our Father and He loves us! He knows our short-comings, our frailties and our failures. We can still cry out “Abba Father” and ask His mercy and forgiveness. God is happy and willing to forgive and cleanse us and enable us to do His will -- in the matter of child rearing and honoring our fathers.

Saint Paul admonished the Ephesian believers –- and we Indians are no different! He wrote in Ephesians Chapter 6:1- 4.

1. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
2.”Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise:
3. “that it may be well with you that you may live long on the earth.”
4. And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:1- 4, NKJV).

LET ME CONCLUDE THIS ARTICLE IN TWO WORDS---TAKE TIME & STAY CLOSE – TO YOUR FAMILY, YOUR FATHERS, YOUR CHILDREN & YOUR GOD ‘ABBA, FATHER’ !!!

May you all have a Happy Fathers’ Day & God richly bless you!!!!!

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(By Bishop Dr. Varghese L. Mathai, Gospel Light Mission & IICM Florida).
WWW.IICMWEB.ORG/ NEWWORLDSTORIES.COM/ NEWINEMINISTRIES.COM/ WORLDEM.ORG.

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