This Sunday is Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads and to those serving in paternal roles.

While I’m mostly known as a devoted Mamma’s boy; it might surprise you to know that I also had a great relationship with my Dad, Jack Finney. This wonderful man died (July 24th) 2 days before my birthday in 1995. It was Father’s Day weekend of that year that it became apparent to me that his life on earth was quickly coming to an end.

I know that not everyone enjoyed the kind of relationship I had with my father. Perhaps that’s why as a Pastor, I’ve always loved Ernest Hemingway’s story, “Capital of the World.” In it, he tells the tale of a Spanish father searching for his son who ran away from home after having a fight with the old man. The father so badly wants to reconcile with his beloved boy that he places an advertisement in the local paper, “El Liberal.” The advertisement reads, “Paco, meet me at the Hotel Montana at noon on Tuesday. All is forgiven! Love Papa.” The next day at noon, arriving at the Hotel Montana, the father is astonished to discover 800 young men named Paco waiting for the embrace of forgiveness.

This beautiful story is a modern-day parable of how we all yearn for forgiveness and to know we are not condemned. It also reminds us that God’s love is like that of this loving father. It is a love that is always reaching out to us with the message “All is forgiven! You are not condemned! Come home to My love!”

Join us for worship at Covenant on this Father’s Day. Part of the sermon will be a video clip of another loving father that helps us to remember God’s great love. Then join us for a cookout after morning worship.

This sermon is Part 3 of my Pride Month Series “Unshakeable Assurances.” The title this week is “Forgiven and Not Condemned” based on Romans 8:31-39.