Can you picture that moment when a nurse, or midwife, places a newborn baby in its father's arms? It's a sacred and unforgettable moment.
The father is waiting, with unspeakable tenderness, ready to take his place as the protector, teacher, provider for that brand new baby. That picture is repeated around the world every day.
We, too, are placed in our Father's arms. Each day. Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer of Christian Science calls God "Father-Mother" and teaches us to understand God not as a magnified mortal, but as love. We're held in that love. We can count on that love.
We can see that tender care, and protection every day, as we turn to God and His provision for us. We're never alone. We're never without guidance. We have a super abundance of spiritual ideas to meet every need, since we each are 'reflections' of that love. We are spiritual ideas of God.
I've heard Joseph, the father of Jesus, called Jesus' 'guardian'. Joseph knew full well that he was not humanly the father of that baby in the manger, but Joseph listened as God directed him to take his rightful place and care for that Christ idea.
Noah, from the Bible, also set an example for fathers. Noah did everything exactly as God commanded him to do, even down to the last cubit. He spoke with and obeyed God, taking on an enormous task, thereby protecting his family.
Moses was the father of two sons, but was a father figure for the nations, by listening to God's commands, and bringing all 10 of them to us, carved in stone!
Fathers today can build arks, mental arks, just as effective as the one Noah built to protect his children. They can depend on, and trust, instruction from God, just as Joseph did. They can obey commands from God just as Moses did. By listening for God's guidance, fathers can do the right thing in the right manner.
When we see God as the father of us all, we can depend on His guidance, wisdom, strength, and that can make all the difference. Right here. Right now.
A Harvard University study, a study of college men begun in 1938, ran for 75 years and was the longest longitudinal study of human development in history. It was expected to show the socio-economic factors, and hereditary factors which determined a man's success and happiness.
The present director of the study recently summed up the findings by reporting, "The 75 years and $20 million expended on the Grant Study points to a straightforward five-word conclusion: Happiness is love. Full stop."
Often grandmothers, mothers, aunts and sisters are called upon to take that active, supportive, fatherly role in a child's life, sometimes balancing jobs with family obligations. Sometimes giving up a long-awaited retirement to meet the family's need of a father.
I have a friend who receives a Father's Day card from her siblings. When she was 14 she naturally slipped into a father role when it was vacant. Her brothers and sisters appreciation for her active provision, her guidance, her love, even her pay cheque, is shown by cards lined up on the mantelpiece each Father's Day.
That Father-Mother love is indeed all around, can be expressed by each of us, and meets our every need. This sense of a Father-Mother God tenderly loving us all is the concept that the members of the Christian Science in Wollongong hold of God and our relationship to God.
More information about Christian Science can be found on christianscience.com. Everyone is welcome to their services which are at 10am every Sunday, with a healing testimony meeting at noon on the first and third Wednesday of every month.
If you're in need of some comfort and reassurance you're always welcome to meet this loving group. Free literature is available at the stairs in front of Wollongong Post Office at 110 Crown St - the church is located on the floor above.