Fathers and Fathering…
This year, Father’s Day is celebrating its 109thanniversary. The holiday began June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington.
In May of 1909, young woman named Sonora Smart Dodd sat in church listening to a Mother’s Day sermon. She decided she wanted to designate a day to honor her father, William Jackson Smart. Her mother had died in childbirth, and her father, a Civil War veteran, had taken the responsibility to raise Dodd and her five siblings.
The following year, Dodd wanted to celebrate Father’s Day on June 5th, which was her father’s birthday, and petitioned for the holiday to be recognized in her city. Needing more time to arrange the festivities, Spokane’s mayor pushed back the date by two weeks, landing on Sunday, June 19, 1910.
At the first Father’s Day celebration, during a church service, a large basket of roses was passed around, and attendees were told to pin on a rose in honor of their fathers, red for the living, and white for the deceased.
Dodd then proceeded to ride around the city, distributing roses to the home-bound.
The U.S. congress had been quick to recognize a national holiday for mothers, declaring the celebration of Mother’s Day in 1914, after it was first celebrated in 1908, but took much longer to recognize Father’s Day as a national event.
President Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers in 1966, but it wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon signed the public law that made it a permanent holiday.
That’s when Father’s Day began in the U.S., but when did it begin for you?
We can think of every individual’s Father’s day beginning in the moment of conception, but a father’s ‘day’ is more an era of time than it is a specific day.
A father’s ‘day’ is a responsibility passed from one generation to the next, and your father’s ‘day’ begins the moment your first child is conceived. It is the responsibility you take, rather than the biology you practice which determines the valueof yourfather’s ‘day.’
Oneness with your Father in heaven is the ultimate expression of the responsibility you take upon yourself. While the world remains corrupt in this regard, and knows little of true fatherhood, oneness with our Father in heaven brings the capacity for raising the “godly offspring” our Father in heaven seeks. (Malachi 2:15)
The closer we draw to our Father in heaven, the closer we will draw to our children who belong to Him and are readily pointed to Him by our devotion for Him.