Daddy to the rescue
A reflection for the First Sunday of Advent, Year B
by Rev. Gregory Dyson
My girls have always been Daddy’s girls ever since they were born.
When our first child was born, I was worried about breaking the package. I kept thinking if there’s a problem, we have to hurry and find out so we can take her back – I’m not sure when the warranty runs out.
Just about a week after she was born, I noticed that every time I would go into her room to pick her up and hold her, she would have a twitch in her left shoulder. It was not a little twitch, it was big – like your shoulder’s gonna fall off twitch. I screamed for my wife, “Gina, come find out what’s wrong – she’s broke!”
But the moment Gina would take her, the twitching would stop and, like the problem with your car – it only occurs when you leave the mechanic’s shop – she was operating fine again. But within a few hours, I would hold her and the problem would occur again. Determined not to let the warranty run out, I insisted that we take her back for a full check-up.
Our doctor was old-school. A sweet German man with a thick accent. He said, ”What’s the problem?”
I explained the dilemma. After some deep groaning, he insisted that I take the child and that Gina move out of sight. And sure enough, within a few moments the broken shoulder dance started again. I was ready to send her to surgery, but that’s not where he was headed.
With a jovial laugh, he said, “I’m going to teach you something you’ll never forget the rest of your life. Your child wants to be like her daddy! Have you ever watched yourself move or talk? You are very animated! You’re all over the place! Now this is your first child, and she’s very little. She loves you and wants to communicate with you. But she can’t do all those movements, all she can do is shrug her shoulder. She’ll catch up to you eventually, but just know she’s trying right now.”
In Isaiah, we see a cry from the people to their daddy. They’re asking for their daddy to show up. The Scriptures tell us that God is our father. We know that He wants to care for our needs. We know that He is ready to give good gifts. We know that He wants what’s best for us. And we know that He has not abandoned us. So even when we can’t see Him, we can feel His presence. Earthly fathers have a scent – sometimes it’s their socks or their hat or that jacket that they just won’t put down. It’s uniquely them. And even when you can’t see them, when you catch a whiff of their cool stuff, you know they’re close by.
One of the favourite things that I like to do with my family is announce my coming. I don’t know why I bother – they can simply watch my electronic dot and know exactly how many minutes I am away. But nevertheless, I send that text: “See you in 30 minutes”; “Let’s go out when I get home”; and my teenage daughter’s favourite: “This weekend you’re driving”. All of these are reminders that I really am coming home. And I’m going to take them with me the next time I leave.
God has plans for us. He is our father, and He’s coming again. So, get ready, you can’t see His electronic dot that lets you know when He pulls in, but He’s coming nonetheless. How exciting! Let’s be ready!
The readings for the First Sunday of Advent, Year B, are
Isaiah 63:16b-17; 64:1, 3-8
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Rev. Gregory Dyson is a husband, father, preacher, administrator, and motorcycle envy-ist. He currently serves as the Vice President of Intercultural Leadership and Church Relations at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.