My church designates October to be "Pastor Appreciation Month." That's cool. They usually do something nice for the pastors there. This year, though, they have made a big deal about all the pastors that are in their midst. There are three or four. These include at least two retired pastors, of which my father is one of those. My father was in the active ministry from 1962-2002. He was in the parish ministry for 34 of those 40 years. He retired from Bethesda Homes and Services. He had been a chaplin for six years to mentally handicapped adults. It was an amazing ministry. You can read a little about what I wrote about him at the time of his retirement here. I wrote this about his residents and his retirement service.
What brings this up? This stuff about my father. Well, about two weeks ago they had this little presentation at church for the pastors. One of the pastors of my church is, at present, down in Antartica conducting services, he is an Air Force chaplin.
Well, anyway, my dad was called up to the front of the church. And let me tell you, my dad doesn't like that kind of thing to happen, he doesn't like it at all. Then Pastor A's son came up and did a little presentation celebrating his father's ministry, etc. My dad was included in this, too. He got a "small gift" of appreciation. I could see the expression on his face: "I don't want to be doing this," he was afraid they were going to ask him to say something and he doesn't do very well off-the-cuff, sometimes.
I was worried they were going to drag me up there, too. They saw me, I know they did. I was sitting next to my dad when they called him. I was sitting in the pew thinking about what I might say if I got called up there.
The last few weeks they have been doing a sermon series on James (which is fantastic, because I love the book of James). The text for that evening service came from James 2 where James wrote about faith and deeds, etc.
As I sat there, sweating a bit, worried, I started to think about that. Faith. And then I thought about something that I have written about here a few times: "FA TH." What's missing? The "i," one can't have faith with out a personal involvement. Then I thought about this "FATH" what's missing there? "ER."
I am a christian today and Lutheran because of the FAiTH because of my FATHER (my mom, too) but in this case because of my dad. He has been my pastor and my father. Because of his FAiTH I have FAiTH. A direct example of James 2.
I told him that if I had been called up there I was going to say something a like that and he seemed quite pleased about that. Luckily, or maybe sadly, they didn't so my little schpeal was all for naught. But it has been something that has been on my mind for the last few weeks and I just needed to get it out. You know, to air it out and let it fly.
FAiTH from FATHer.