Sunday, June 17, 2012

Church and Fathers' Day Ramblings

This will be a rambling post about church this morning.

I find it interesting that my church focused a lot on mothers on Mothers' Day, but hardly any on fathers on Father's Day.  Fathers were acknowledged this morning: they got a candy bar, and they were mentioned during the announcements.  But the children's service and the sermon were not about fathers, as far as I could remember.  By contrast, mothers were the focus of the children's service and the sermon on Mothers' Day.

Incidentally, I read a post not long ago by someone who was complaining about how her church really focuses on mothers on Mothers' Day, which she believes excludes singles and exalts motherhood as the right vocation for all women.  Maybe her church celebrated Mothers' Day in a less-than-tactful manner, but I think that it's perfectly all right for churches to honor mothers on Mothers' Day and fathers on Fathers' Day.  I'm single, and I sometimes get tired of hearing about people's married lives and their kids.  But I still think that parenting is a noble job and that parents should be honored.  I'm reminded on these sorts of days that I owe my parents thanks for supporting me when I was growing up, and for helping me even in my adult years.  But there are people who have had different experiences.

Why didn't my church focus on fathers that much today?  I don't know.  Maybe it has to do with how many people see their parents: fathers are the firm distant ones, whereas mothers are the supporting nurturers.  I can't make this an absolute, though, for there are plenty of people who have different experiences.

(UPDATE: The service on Fathers' Day last year talked more about fathers.  See here.)

The theme of the service this morning related to love being the Kingdom of God, and how we become more loving by planting the seeds of God's word inside of us and by depending on God.  This overlapped some with my conversation with my Dad yesterday when I talked with him on the phone: How do we handle our sinful (or selfish) human nature?  Some believe we have to struggle against it.  Others believe that victory comes when we depend on Jesus Christ.  As I listened to the sermon this morning, I felt like the pastor was speaking about a foreign country, since I was so enmeshed in bitterness and cynicism (over various people and situations) that hearing about love and spiritual growth seemed alien to me----even inaccessible.  Love, for me, is not natural.  Or at least it's not an emotion all of the time, but rather a conscious decision to cause no damage.

3 comments:

  1. Out of curiosity, did you peek around to count the percentage of men in church versus women? The might have had to pass the collection plate twice to give candy bars to all the women.

    I read a fun book a bit ago that highlights how pointedly we pander to women in the church, to the point where men feel it doesn't belong to them anymore. I reviewed the book here:

    http://www.dubiousdisciple.com/2012/01/book-review-why-men-hate-going-to.html

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just did a calculation. It was roughly even. 11 men, and 12 women.

    I heard of that book, but I've never read it. I'll read your review. I like how you clearly and succinctly capture the essence of the books you review.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Actually, as I think more, it was 11 men, and 15 women.

    ReplyDelete

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