Sermon originally preached by Pastor Mike Hintze of Our Savior Lutheran Church, Westminster, Massachusetts, on Father's Day, June 20, 2004. Given again by Pastor Joshua Schneider at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Kahului, HI on Father's Day, June 20, 2010.
1. Look in your Small Catechism (starts on pg. 321 in our hymnal if you don't have one at home...or ask Pastor for a free pamphlet copy). Read the First Article of the Creed, and the explanation. What has God the Father done for you? Also in the Small Catechism, read the Introduction to the Lord's Prayer and the first question, "What does this mean?" How does the privilege of calling God our Father invite us to pray? See also Matt. 6:8; 6:26ff; 11:25-30; Luke 12:32; 15:11-32; John 10:29, etc.
2. Is the image of father a positive or negative one for you? If it was negative, were there other "father-figures" in your life? How does God our heavenly Father embody and supply all that was lacking in our earthly fathers, however good or bad they were?
3. What does the strength of God our heavenly Father mean for us? How is it true that every human being is missing out on the kind of "father-love" they were meant for, if they are apart from God?
4. Why might our sinful nature not want to call God ‘Father'? How does calling Him ‘Father' involve us with Him?
5. Imagine yourself riding on your father's shoulders. What does that mean you can face when your are riding on your heavenly Father's shoulders? If God is the Strong One, we are the Loved Ones.
6. How do we sometimes take out the hurts we have received from others, on God? What has God done for us when He saw us dying in our sinful state?