Father’s Day

June 18, 2006 | 17 comments
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LET us now praise our fathers that begat us.
The Lord hath wrought great glory by them through his great power from the beginning.

There be of them, that have left a name behind them, that their praises might be reported.
And some there be, which have no memorial; who are perished, as though they had never been; and are become as though they had never been born; and their children after them.
But these were merciful men, whose righteousness hath not been forgotten.
With their seed shall continually remain a good inheritance, and their children are within the covenant.
Their seed standeth fast, and their children for their sakes.
Their seed shall remain for ever, and their glory shall not be blotted out.
Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth for evermore.
The people will tell of their wisdom, and the congregation will shew forth their praise.

17 Responses to Father’s Day

  1. Adam Greenwood on June 18, 2006 at 11:44 am

    When Michael Novak’s father died, he said something to the effect that it was as if a great tree had fallen on the edge of the forest and for the first time he felt the full force of the wind. If anyone knows the quote I would appreciate their posting it here.

  2. Brooke on June 18, 2006 at 1:13 pm

    That’s a great quote. I googled it and found it here:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/novak/novak200504081242.asp

  3. Mark Butler on June 18, 2006 at 4:17 pm

    Perfect for Father’s day. Perhaps the apocrypha is worth perusing after all. Thanks.

    [Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 44:1-15.]

  4. Rosalynde Welch on June 18, 2006 at 5:05 pm

    Thank you, Adam, a fitting tribute.

    Father-love is mysterious to me, inexplicable: why would a father love his offspring? I can understand the sort of father-love celebrated in the section of the passage that you excised—patrilineal pride, glory and honor redounding to the seed and the stock and the sire, and so on. But self-effacement, quiet self-sacrifice, attachment to the little bodies and bones: I experience this kind of love helplessly, from the most primitive recesses of my mammal brain. Men don’t have the benefit of cascades of hormones bathing the brain in the strong juices of mother-love. And in fact, now that patrilineality is passe, many fathers do not have much reason to claim and support the children they beget, or do not seem to. And that makes the father-love I see in so many good men around me all the more mysterious and inspiring.

    Praise to those men!

  5. Hans Hansen on June 18, 2006 at 5:15 pm

    Michael Novak’s comments were published in “National Review” on April 25, 2005 following the death of Pope John Paul II. He was commenting on the loss the Polish people felt when the Pope died and then made the following statement:

    “Someone told me during the week my father died that losing a father is like having a big tree on the edge of the forest come down, and feeling the wind upon one’s own face. The Poles feel like that today. So do we all.”

    Try this link for the full article:

    http://www.michaelnovak.net/Module/Article/ArticleView.aspx?id=123

  6. Jim F. on June 18, 2006 at 5:19 pm

    Adam, thank you.

  7. Hans Hansen on June 18, 2006 at 5:22 pm

    BTW, the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams set some of the verses from Ecclesiasticus to music in his canticle, “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men”:

    Let us now praise famous men
    and our fathers that begat us,
    such as did bear rule
    in their kingdoms;
    men reknowned for their power,
    leaders of the people
    by their council,
    and by their knowledge;
    such as found out
    musical tune and
    recited verses in writing.
    All these were honoured
    in their generation
    and for the glory of our times.
    But some there be
    which have no memorial,
    who have perished as though
    they have never been.
    Their bodies are
    buried in peace,
    but their name liveth
    forever more.

  8. Mark Butler on June 18, 2006 at 6:31 pm

    A few scriptures that come to mind on Father’s day:

    If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

    Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

    For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

    The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
    (Romans 8:10-17)

    My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

    If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

    Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
    (Hebrews 12:5-9)

    And Enoch beheld angels descending out of heaven, bearing testimony of the Father and Son; and the Holy Ghost fell on many, and they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion.

    And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?

    And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity? And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations; and thy curtains are stretched out still; and yet thou art there, and thy bosom is there; and also thou art just; thou art merciful and kind forever;

    And thou hast taken Zion to thine own bosom, from all thy creations, from all eternity to all eternity; and naught but peace, justice, and truth is the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it thou canst weep? The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;

    And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood; And the fire of mine indignation is kindled against them; and in my hot displeasure will I send in the floods upon them, for my fierce anger is kindled against them. Behold, I am God; Man of Holiness is my name; Man of Counsel is my name; and Endless and Eternal is my name, also.
    (Moses 7:27-34)

    And Enoch beheld the Son of Man ascend up unto the Father; and he called unto the Lord, saying: Wilt thou not come again upon the earth? Forasmuch as thou art God, and I know thee, and thou hast sworn unto me, and commanded me that I should ask in the name of thine Only Begotten; thou hast made me, and given unto me a right to thy throne, and not of myself, but through thine own grace; wherefore, I ask thee if thou wilt not come again on the earth.

    And the Lord said unto Enoch: As I live, even so will I come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfil the oath which I have made unto you concerning the children of Noah; And the day shall come that the earth shall rest, but before that day the heavens shall be darkened, and a veil of darkness shall cover the earth; and the heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve;

    And righteousness will I send down out of heaven; and truth will I send forth out of the earth, to bear testimony of mine Only Begotten; his resurrection from the dead; yea, and also the resurrection of all men; and righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.

    And the Lord said unto Enoch: Then shalt thou and all thy city meet them there, and we will receive them into our bosom, and they shall see us; and we will fall upon their necks, and they shall fall upon our necks, and we will kiss each other; And there shall be mine abode, and it shall be Zion, which shall come forth out of all the creations which I have made; and for the space of a thousand years the earth shall rest.
    (Moses 7:59-64)

    AND I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

    And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

    And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
    (Revelations 21:1-4)

  9. Mark Butler on June 18, 2006 at 7:41 pm

    Sorry for the length, it always looks smaller in the original sources…

  10. Adam Greenwood on June 18, 2006 at 10:24 pm

    Some of us can still get a little patrilineal from time to time, RW.

  11. DKL on June 18, 2006 at 11:57 pm

    I don’t get the “Father’s Day thing,” (I also don’t get the “Mother’s Day thing,” but you can’t emphasize that without people calling you an ingrate–Dad’s are fair game). Let’s be honest: If we did the Folger’s Crystal switch in the maternity wards, and everyone were secretly sent home with someone else’s baby, everybody would love everybody else just as much. Aren’t they (and we) just a bunch of stand-ins for other people that might do just as well? (or better?)

  12. Adam Greenwood on June 19, 2006 at 12:04 am

    The point isn’t that your dad is the best possible dad, than whom no better father for you could be imagined. The point is that he’s your dad. Love isn’t a calculus of benefits recieved and rendered.

  13. Kaimi Wenger on June 19, 2006 at 12:20 am

    Dave,

    It’s less about the provision of genetic material, and more about the support, provision for family, provision of love, role model, and so forth. Fatherhood, at the end of the day, doesn’t have all that much to do with the provision of genetic material.

    And by the way, according to Jared Diamond’s book (the pre Guns Germs Steel one, I forget the title at the moment), the Folgers experiment is real — somewhere on the order of 30% of kids are not actually the genetic children of their purported father.

  14. Jim F. on June 19, 2006 at 12:33 am

    DKL: Both the Fathers Day and the Mothers Day things are, as I’m sure you know, international holidays drummed up by greeting card companies, to which we have all taken as if they were ordained in Leviticus. We have Mothers Day because men feel guilty about the way they treat their wives and children feel guilty about the way they treat their mothers. We have Fathers Day as an equity measure, to help us think we have Mothers Day for some other reason.

    And, in spite of that, most of us like the chance to say good things about our mothers and fathers.

  15. Hans Hansen on June 19, 2006 at 1:08 am

    Actually I believe that recognizing our fathers and mothers goes back a bit further than the creation of greeting card companies.

    12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

    (Old Testament | Exodus 20:12)

  16. Jim F. on June 19, 2006 at 11:05 pm

    Hans, recognizing our fathers and mothers goes a lot further back. (I was thinking of the commandment when I referred to Leviticus — I mistakenly said “Leviticus” instead of “Exodus”; what a way to ruin a joke). However, having a holiday for doing so doesn’t. I think Fathers Day and Mothers Day have a lot less to do with the commandment than they have to do with commercialism and the false expiation of guilt.

  17. gst on June 20, 2006 at 6:30 pm

    My dad is just like me, but funny. See, e.g., http://www.timesandseasons.org/?p=3038#comment-127176 We’re going fishing next week.

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