Happy Father’s Day to all for whom this is a happy day. That’s not the case for everyone, and for those for whom this is a difficult day for any of a number of reasons, I pray for your comfort and healing.
I’m one of those for whom it is a mixed day. My father died more than 20 years ago. We had our difficulties at times, but I loved him and I knew that he loved me. I think about him often, and on this day, all my memories are good ones.
My dad, Rev. Tipton L. Britner, as a young man.
Rather than writing a full-length blog, I’m adding a sermon under the sermons tab that I first delivered a few years ago about Biblical fathers. It’s not about my father, but I did include an anecdote I’ll share with my readers today and invite you to read the rest of the sermon here.
“Perhaps because we were both political junkies, my dad always was impressed that I was a lawyer in Washington, D.C. When I visited him, he would introduce me to others by saying, “This is my boy; he’s a Washington lawyer!” He was a man like any other man with many flaws. Yet I’m not romanticizing his memory when I say that every day of my life, even in all these days since his death, I have felt his blessing.”
In the sermon, I spend a lot of time describing the Biblical version of a father’s blessing, and I share how we might adapt that tradition to our contemporary understanding of gender roles and diverse families. As I often write, we are holy, we are loved, and we deserve to be loved. That’s the kind of blessing I got from my father, and it’s the kind of blessing I wish for everyone. For those who did not have a father who gave them such a blessing, take mine. The great thing about blessings, like love, is that you can keep giving it away without diminishing one’s own.
For my father and all the men who ever have mentored me and blessed me with their love, encouragement, and wisdom, permit me to take this occasion to say, “Thank you!”