The Gift of the Son: Everlasting Father
How can we know God as Father? Through his Son.
We're looking at Isaiah 9—at names for this child to be born, this son to be given, who will reveal to us something about who God is. Today's name, the third in Isaiah's list of four names, will strike a deep chord in all of our hearts. I say that not because I'm confident that the sermon will be moving, but because the theme itself can't help but move us. It's the theme of fatherhood, and that third title is this: "Everlasting Father."
Some of us have wonderful memories of our childhood and our fathers. I'd put myself in this category. But for others, perhaps the majority, fatherhood is a painful thought. Your dad wasn't very good to you, and you live with the scars from that: the hurt, the wounds, the damage.
Still, for others, it wasn't that your dad was bad or good—he was just gone. He was absent, either physically or, perhaps worse, emotionally. For a few of you, your dad wasn't a part of your life because of death, and you may have struggled with the feeling of having been purposely abandoned, even though you know it wasn't your fault. Speaking to the theme of fatherhood will indeed strike a deep chord in your heart, but it won't make a pleasant sound—perhaps it will make a painful one.
And yet here is the good news of the gospel: Jesus Christ helps us know God as our Father, not just our Father, but our everlasting Father, One who will never leave nor forsake us, One who is always there for us, One who has us in the palm of his hand for ever and ever.
In fact, it is the distinctive privilege and distinctive mark of a Christian to know God as everlasting Father. This is at the heart of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. You know God as Father. You don't grope in the dark looking for ...
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Todd Wilson (PhD, Cambridge University) is Senior Pastor of Calvary Memorial Church in Oak Park, IL, cofounder of the Center for Pastor Theologians, and author most recently of The Pastor Theologian and Real Christian.