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June 19

Acts 2, 34-36

For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, "The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’ " Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.’

New Revised Standard Version

Something to think about

This year, Father’s day and Trinity Sunday fall on the same day, giving a wonderful perspective to both celebrations, and to today’s reading.

In these three verses Peter reinforces his teaching in 32-33 which we discussed yesterday. In 34-36, he now grounds his statements further.

As we read this parallel, but different, voicing of the truths surrounding the exaltation of Jesus at the right hand of the Father, some of the same themes as yesterday come through. But there are new insights too, particularly into the character and nature of the Father. Let’s examine a few phrases in particular:

Sit at my right hand. This invitation carries several nuances. The first is essentially about position, ‘I am giving you the same authority and power that I have – you are to sit beside me, not under me’.

The second is about honour based on trust ‘I value you above all others – it’s you I want to sit beside me, give me counsel, and work with me’. And the third is a desire for intimacy – ‘come home and spend time with me beloved Son with whom I am well pleased – I want you as close to me as possible because we are one.’

Until I make... The Father takes complete ownership of, responsibility for, and protection of the Son. Essentially he says, your work is my work and I’ll make sure you’re exalted and established – your battles will be fought with my strength, and in my name – so success and honour for you are the only possible outcomes.

...your enemies your footstool. What an extraordinary way to finish this phrase – the Father is essentially saying to the Son ‘I will fight the battle on your behalf, but you will receive the glory and dominion that comes from it’.

It’s not about him trying to compete with his son, or prove his strength – at the end of the battle there the two of them will be, side by side, whilst the son puts his feet up on the victory that has been won for him.

God has made him both Lord and Messiah. This speaks to me of inheritance and the release of a son into his God-given destiny

This Father’s day, as we think about the relationships of honour and love in the Trinity, let’s take our heavenly Father as our ultimate example. The Father’s treatment of his Son should inspire us to protect, honour and release all we have any kind of influencing relationship over.

And let’s resolve again to use the power, resources and relationships we have to raise up, honour and restore all who are in need.

Something to do

Take a moment to consider all the Father figures (whatever their official role) that have had a positive impact on

your life. Thank God for them. In the stillness, give some space to thinking about whether there are any of them that you could call or email in the next few days to affirm and thank them for their role in your life. Pray God’s blessing on them, and all fathers today, and finish by thanking the ultimate Father for his love, forgiveness and provision.

Something to pray

Father God thank you for your perfect fathering –
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Shepherded and nurtured; disciplined and challenged
So I can flourish in your purpose and plan for me
And bear my Father’s image more fully still.
Father God thank you for your perfect example –
I praise you because you show all fathers how to love;
To shepherd and nurture; discipline and challenge
So their sons and daughters can flourish in this world as you have planned,
And carry your presence to all they meet.
Father God bless all fathers today – with wisdom, with patience, with courage
And above all with love for their children.
Father God bless all children today – with openness to correction, with eagerness to learn
And above all with love for their fathers.
Father God bless all who are fatherless today – surround them with godly men to teach, affirm and guide
And above all to love with the love of a father – in your strength Father God.

Amen.

Today’s contributor is Liz Baddaley, a former staff member of Christian Aid. She is a worship leader, song-writer, freelance writer and editor specialising in Bible study and worship resources for charities. She is also the co-founder ofwww.thesanctuarycentre.org

 

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