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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

A Father's Day Blessing

By Greg Asimakoupoulos
June 16, 2013

Father’s Day 2006 was the most memorable I have ever experienced. I had asked my dad, a retired pastor, to preach at the church I served. Because Dad was battling terminal cancer, I knew it would likely be the last time he would give a sermon. It was a poignant morning. Dad preached like there was no tomorrow (perhaps because he wasn’t sure how many tomorrows he had left).

Before getting up to deliver one of his favorite messages, Dad called my brother and me forward. In front of the entire congregation, our dying father reached out and placed a hand on each of our heads and gave us his blessing.

Although my dad had frequently told me he loved me, this time was different. With carefully chosen words, he verbalized his unconditional acceptance and called on our Heavenly Father to fill our lives with a sense of His presence and holy purpose. I fought to hold back tears.

Have you been the recipient of your father’s blessing? If you’re a father, have you found a meaningful way to communicate to your children the pride and pleasure they bring you? A formal ceremony isn’t necessary, but a creative expression might make such a declaration more memorable.

Both Jewish and Christian traditions celebrate the significance of “the blessing.” In the Old Testament, Abraham blessed Isaac. Years later, Isaac blessed Jacob. On his deathbed, Jacob as a feeble patriarch strained to sit up to speak over each of his 12 sons.

The New Testament makes clear that even Jesus needed (and received) His Father’s blessing. At the beginning of His public ministry, when He was baptized in the Jordan River, Jesus heard a voice from above saying, “You are My much-loved son. I am very happy with You” (Mark 1:11, NLV).

“Much-loved.” “Very happy with You.” Think how meaningful those words were to Jesus. Imagine how they can shape a child’s life.

There is something about those words falling from a father’s lips that causes you to stand a little taller and try a little harder. Every person who has ever lived longs to hear their dad say there is nothing they could ever do (no matter how good or bad) that would cause him to love them any less than he already does.

Father’s Day is certainly a choice time for kids to honor their dads. But it is also a great occasion for fathers to be reminded how critical their affirmation is to the long-term well-being of those who call them Dad.

GREG ASIMAKOUPOULOS is an ordained minister, freelance writer and newspaper columnist.

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