Last Sunday, as we had formal prayers from the front of the church, there was a poignant moment when I just looked up for a few seconds. I witnessed something so precious. The children had quietly come back in from their Junior Church activities, and our curate looked across from his position as leader of the service on the front row, to where his lovely wife had been looking after their 3 gorgeous children. Their eldest son had finished before his 2 siblings, and quietly went back alone to wait for his mum and brother and sister. Our curate quietly went over and brought him to the front row. This lovely young boy snuggled happily into his Dad, his back to his Dad’s front, while the prayers continued. I then saw that amazing Dad gently, and so unselfconsciously, put the gentlest of kisses on his son’s head.
Several things struck me as I pondered the moment.
- The Dad was present in the church hall, but was acutely aware of exactly where his young son was.
- Even though the son was not in any danger, the Dad did not want him to feel alone in any way.
- The Dad made the first move to bring his son to where he was.
- When they were together on the front row, the cuddle of tenderness was exquisite, and the kiss so very natural.
Then I realised as I looked at them both, that they were obviously genetically related – the same head shape, both wore glasses, and both had crew cuts! They were also, in that position, both looking out in the same direction. And the young son looked so safe and secure.
As we approach Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, it is well to reflect on The Father’s Love for His Son. It is impossible to imagine that God could contemplate laying the sins of the world on the One He Cherished above all others. For my sins and yours. To allow a wall of separation come between them, so that Christ could cry “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
But He did.
And He did so, so that you and I could come back into relationship with Father God, to receive that most intimate of cuddles, and a kiss on the head. God made the first move towards us, and has made us spiritually-genetically family – adopted into His Kingdom, with all the rights and privileges of an heir. Whatever your situation is right now, you are passionately yet so tenderly loved by Almighty God.
A beautiful hymn from my childhood says it this way:-
- Behold, what love, what boundless love,
The Father hath bestowed
On sinners lost, that we should be
Now called the sons of God!
Behold, what manner of love!
What manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us,
That we, that we should be called,
Should be called the sons of God!
- No longer far from Him but now
By precious blood made nigh,
Accepted in the Well beloved,
Near to God’s heart we lie. [Refrain]
- What we in glory soon shall be,
It doth not yet appear;
But when our precious Lord we see,
We shall His image bear. [Refrain]
- With such a blessèd hope in view,
We would more holy be,
More like our risen, glorious Lord,
Whose face we soon shall see. [Refrain]
- Are you in need of the closeness of God’s arms? He is fully aware of you, and is closer than you realize
- The love of Father God is incomparable to any earthly relationship – it is always better
- How closely do you resemble your Heavenly Father?)
(P.S. To protect confidentiality, The photo above is not of the Dad and son I described, but is a stock photo)