You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way. (2Sa 22:37 NIV) As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. (Mat 9:9 NIV)
Looking back on Father’s Day gives another chance to view the wonderful and miraculous way the triune God has led us throughout our lives. From our very first steps and even before that when we couldn’t even walk yet, but crawled around inquisitively he has already kept his watchful eyes over us so that we would not come to harm. The Holy Scriptures inform us that God did this gracious and merciful work of watching over us and keeping and preserving us even before we started thinking about this and as we just lay helplessly in some cot or in our mother’s arms after having been conceived in hidden places. God makes it clear that from the very beginning, he was focussed on us with loads of love and caring goodness – making sure that we would become who we are – living in trusting and grateful faith all the days of our life. For it is God himself, who provides a broad path for us and our endangered feet, so that our feet don’t slip, stumble or give way in some way or another. Rather by his grace and goodness we are to walk our path safe and sound – his rod and staff comfort me. And even if we should stumble or fall, he’s there to hold and keep us protected and in good care. Nothing can snatch us from his fatherly hands.
This holds true in our daily lives from the very earliest of days and throughout our toil and sojourning here on earth – be it now seventy or eighty years (or only 30 or 20 for that matter!), but especially as we follow his calling into his service and mission. St. Matthew was one of the first, who was called by our Lord Jesus Christ into his fellowship and lifelong discipleship. And although our Lord and saviour’s words hold true for him and us as for St. Peter: “Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” (Joh 21:18 NIV) Even then our Lord provides, granting sure footing and safe passage even as our feet grow feeble, start to falter and stumble along – for he leads and guides us for his very name’s sake. Ensuring that we reach our heavenly destination – our lives goal thanks to his goodness and loving care. Amen.
- Jesus, lead Thou on Till our rest is won; And although the way be cheerless, We will follow calm and fearless. Guide us by Thy hand To our fatherland.
- If the way be drear, If the foe be near, Let not faithless fears o’ertake us; Let not faith and hope forsake us; For through many a woe To our home we go.
- When we seek relief From a long-felt grief; When temptations come alluring, Make us patient and enduring; Show us that bright shore Where we weep no more.
- Jesus, lead Thou on Till our rest is won. Heavenly Leader, still direct us, Still support, control, protect us, Till we safely stand In our fatherland.
The Lutheran Hymnal Hymn #410 Text: Luke 5:1 Author: Cento by Christian Gregor, 1778 translated by: Jane Borthwick, 1854, alt. Titled: “Jesu, geh voran” Composer: Adam Drese, 1697 Tune: “Seelenbräutigam”.