Saturday, February 9, 2013

On Being Born a Second Time.

"Except you change your ways, and become children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. The Son of Man is sent into the world to save those that are lost: for it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven, that even the least among you should remain outside of the kingdom."


My earthly father, Dick Lyon, died at a very young age; he was 31, I was 7.

Sally & Dick Lyon
I am fortunate to have a few good memories of my dad.  I am fortunate that he was regarded as a good man leaving me a standard to live up to and love.

How unfortunate that there are countless numbers of people who do not have good memories or a grand model to which they can measure up.  Whether through abandonment, abuse, infidelity, immaturity or just plain evil too many people suffer from a lack of love by or for their father, or tragically, really are repulsed at the very word.

Our friend George MacDonald has powerful insights into this:

"There may be among my readers—alas for such!—to whom the word Father brings no cheer, no dawn, in whose heart it rouses no tremble of even a vanished emotion. It is hardly likely to be their fault. 

For though as children 
-we seldom love up to the mark of reason; 
-though we often offend; 
-and although the conduct of some children is inexplicable to the parent who loves them; 
yet, if the parent has been but ordinarily kind, even the son who has grown up a worthless man, will now and then feel, in his better moments, some dim reflex of child-ship, some faintly pleasant, some slightly sorrowful remembrance of the father around whose neck his arms had sometimes clung.

Dan Lyon
Dan & Nolan Lyon
In my own childhood and boyhood my father was the refuge from all the ills of life, even sharp pain itself. Therefore I say to son or daughter who has no pleasure in the name Father
'You must interpret the word by all that you have missed in life. Every time a man might have been to you a refuge from the wind, a covert from the tempest, the shadow of a great rock in a weary land, that was a time when a father might have been a father indeed.
Nathan & Malachi Lyon
Happy you are yet, if you have found man or woman such a refuge; so far have you known a shadow of the perfect, seen the back of the only man, the perfect Son of the perfect Father.
Phil & Van Lyon
All that human tenderness can give or desire in the nearness and readiness of love, all and infinitely more must be true of the perfect Father—of the maker of fatherhood, the Father of all the fathers of the earth, specially the Father of those who have specially shown a father-heart.'

This Father would make to himself sons and daughters indeed—that is, such sons and daughters as shall be his sons and daughters not merely by having come from his heart, but by having returned thither—children in virtue of being such as whence they came, such as choose to be what he is. 

Steve & Carter Lyon
He will have them share in his being and nature—
  • -strong wherein he cares for strength; 
  • -tender and gracious as he is tender and gracious; 
  • -angry where and as he is angry. 
Even in the small matter of power, he will have them able to do whatever his Son Jesus could on the earth, whose was the life of the perfect man, whose works were those of perfected humanity. 

Everything must at length be subject to man, 
as it was to The Man.

When God can do what he will with a man, the man may do what he will with the world; he may walk on the sea like his Lord; the deadliest thing will not he able to hurt him:
'He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater than these shall he do.'

(Adapted from Abba! Father!, Unspoken Sermons II, George MacDonald, emphasis added)

Here's to true Fatherhood! 
Here's to rebirth to a true son of God!