Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Everyday Father’s Day
This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10
The seeds of Father’s Day were first sown on June 10, 1910 in Spokane, Washington a few weeks after Sonora Smart Dodd heard a sermon on Mother’s Day and believed there should be a similar day honoring fathers. In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson was unable to get the official observance pushed through congress and in 1924 President Calvin Coolidge recommended that the day be observed by the nation but stopped short of a national proclamation. It wasn’t until 1966 that President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers. Six years later it was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law.
There has been some debate as to why the holiday is not spelled with a plural possessive (Fathers’ Day) to honor all fathers instead of the official singular possessive Father’s Day title. I believe the first few lines of the Model Prayer provide a clue to the reason we should honor our singular Heavenly Father every day. The Aramaic word Jesus likely used for Father, “Abba,” was a powerful, traditional, and intimate word much like amen, hallelujah, and hosanna that was in common use by converts from all religious and heathen backgrounds. It belonged to the class of utterances that commonly described the “tongues” of the Spirit in which words from two or more languages were mingled together accordingly to best express the devout enthusiasm of the worshipper. “Our Father” implies goodness and nearness to us while, “in heaven” implies power and distance from us. “Hallowed be your name” implies the awe, love, and adoration that should be associated with the Creator and Great Parent of humanity.