Men of tender courage, strong hopes and firm presence: When you see your world – and move into it – you model our God who refused to be aloof and insisted on bold, visible love. With your daily labor, you carve life from the soil of this world. Like God, you bring order from the wild chaos. You name the truth, and your love has the power to touch the deep places of our soul. You are a poet, a craftsman, a priest. You are necessary.
For the ways you take on the weight of this world – and shield others from it,
For the many times you surrender your desires for the good of family,
For your faithfulness to your marriage, in a world that knows less and less about fidelity and loyalty, less about love,
For the times when all you want to do is fling your weary bones on a couch but instead you wrestle or sit down for a tea party or toss a football,
For the moments you’ve fought to the bitter end for what you believe is true and right, even if you lost,
For those of you who bear the scars from your own father,
For those of you who have become father for another,
For sticking around,
For keeping your word,
For laughing – and for being able to laugh at yourself,
For teaching us how to tell the truth, how to say “I’m sorry” and how to cry,
We bless you.
May the God who filled Father Adam with life and who filled King David with wisdom, boldness and tenderness and who brought our Redeemer into the world to enact and demonstrate selfless love, fill you with all grace and joy today. In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.