From programs that we have had in the past, which some of you have taught, we know that
much of what we have of the Bible existed as "oral tradition" long before the words
were ever written down. In the case of the Old Testament, some of the stories were
told for over a thousand years before they were written. In the case of the
New Testament, the stories were spoken for at least 60 years before they were written.
So during those times, we had ONLY the oral tradition. We did not have a written account for
decades or generations.
Now I want you to imagine: What would the Bible be like if somebody had not told the story of their
father? What would the Bible be like, for example, if we did not have the book of Job in the Old
Testament? What would your faith be like if you didn't know the story of Abraham and Isaac and
"God will provide an offering" and the rest of that great story? How about the story in the
New Testament of the man blind from birth? What if somebody had not told that story as an important
part of "Faith of Our Fathers"?
We would not have much of the Bible if people did not tell stories, right? It was critical,
essential, to our faith.
We have done a program like this for our mothers twice before, and I published those stories
on our PACE web site. So this program will bring a symmetry to those times. But it does
not bring a balance. Fathers bring extra baggage that mothers typically do not bring. Far
more fathers than mothers leave their families, and unfortunately some fathers do significant
damage, physically as well as emotionally. I suspect that most of us here have many good
memories of our fathers, but probably some have very few. For some people, even to say
“Our Father” is painful rather than sacred. I hope that those of us with good memories of
the "Faith of Our Fathers" can provide a positive record that might help offset bad images
I want you to think about your father. You have been thinking about him, if you plan to call
him on the phone today. Or you are thinking about him, if your father is no longer with you.
You might be here, in class this morning, as a direct result of the faith of your father.
How many of you would agree with that?
I would like you to tell the story of the faith of your father, or your grandfather, uncle, cousin,
brother or any other man in your life who has a faith story you might be willing to share.
I want you to just speak out your stories to us, but I also think it would be interesting,
if you are willing, to record those stories. If you don't want it recorded, I will not.
I think it would be interesting for those people who are not here this morning, to read
stories of the "Faith of Our Fathers". It is possible that the story you tell this morning
of the faith of your father might be something that significantly helps someone else in
their faith journey. Someone might be browsing our PACE web site and read your story.
It may be your story that says to another, "Yeah, that's what my life is like, and that
father affects who I am and what I do right now."
I hope you are willing to share your story with others, both here this morning and on our web site.
It is your father's story, but it is waiting for you to tell it.