I have a Heavenly Father. Now I have a father in heaven. As I’ve written in previous posts, my father, Maynor Reed, received the upward call (Philippians 3:14) on June 27th. The memorial service held last Sunday (July 7th), was a memorable and meaningful time of remembering dad’s life and rejoicing that he is Home.
The final words I ever heard my dad say were “Heavenly Father.” I had just prayed for him and he followed up with a prayer of his own. The words “Heavenly Father” were spoken clearly; the rest of his words were unclear. Since the Holy Spirit “intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26), I’m quite confident God the Father understood dad’s prayer perfectly.
Jesus taught us to address God as “Our Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:10) because coming to God as our Father is foundational to the Christian’s life. J. I . Packer puts it this way:
What is a Christian? The richest answer I know is that a Christian is one who has God as Father. If you want to [know] how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all. (J.I. Packer, Knowing God).
Since my dad died, I’ve felt a bit “fatherless.” I already miss his smile, his prayers for me and my family, his humourous sayings (“Well, it’s better than a jab in the eye with a sharp stick.). I am grateful that all who receive Christ become “children of God” (John 1:12) and will never be fatherless.