Dads of Biblical Proportions

Father's Day. Or in Olde English: Faeder Daeg. That day on which we honor thy father ... or faeder ... with a Father's Day card depicting a watercolor painting of a sailboat or a lighthouse, and token gifts of cigarettes and after shave meant to display our sense of respect for the patriarch of the clan. After all, he is the hunter of the group, the dominant male, the one whose words, however off base or politically incorrect, stand as the rule for the rest of the family (until mother sets him straight, of course).

So it is on this blessed day of supreme masculinity that we examine the greatest fathers down through the pages of the Bible, from the moment of creation to 33 AD ...

God (Genesis 1: 1-31) - Of course, the ultimate father is God, the Almighty, the maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. Heck, He even has His own prayer, the Our Father (aka the Lord's Prayer ... boy, He sure thinks a lot of Himself, huh?). But let's face it, He deserves it. After all, He did create everything and everyone in the universe, so He certainly does deserve all the accolades. Although I really have to believe a woman was involved somewhere in the process. There's no way a guy thought of creating flowers and romantic sunsets. Well anyway, Happy Father's Day God! Why don't you kick back and take the day off! After all, it is Sunday - the 7th day - so rest!

Adam (Genesis 2: 1-25)- The first person created by God was, of course, Adam. Like most men of that time (actually, he was the only man of that time), Adam liked to walk around the house completely naked. He ate naked. He read the newspaper naked. He mowed the lawn naked. He even watched the ballgame on TV naked. But after that issue with Eve and the apple etc, etc, etc, and the all-of-a-sudden realization that "naked" was not necessarily a good look - especially while weeding the garden - Adam tended to walk around the house wearing his underwear more and more  ... which was also not a good look (or so said Eve during one memorable argument). Yet,  Adam will always be best remembered not merely for his choice of clothing (or lack thereof), but more for the fact that he was the male procreator of the species - or as he had chiseled on his mausoleum: "It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it!"

Abraham (Genesis 22: 1-13) - Okay, okay, so Abraham was going to sacrifice his son Isaac as an offering to God. Does that necessarily make him a bad father? Any way, he didn't actually go through with it. Of course, it took an angel sent down from heaven to stop him. But that's not the point. The DSS stepped in, everything was sorted out, and Isaac eventually went on to begat Jacob and the 12 tribes of Israel. So in the end, everything worked out nicely ... and every year Isaac sent a Father's Day card to Abraham bearing an endearing little message, like: "Hey Pop, aren't you glad you didn't slaughter me that time on the mountaintop?"

Joseph (Matthew 1: 18-25 & Luke 2: 3-52- No doubt, he was the greatest stepfather of all time. And to be the stepfather of Jesus Christ to boot - oy vey! We all know the story: Joseph was in love with Mary, who was already with child (via immaculate conception - see "God" above), and yet he was somehow able to overlook all of that because he was head-over-heels for this woman (apparently she had beautiful eyes, a pretty smile, and a playful laugh). Yet, little is known of the relationship between Joseph and Jesus, although it is believed they went fishing quite a bit, enjoyed woodworking, and occasionally on Sunday afternoons attended a stoning or some other community event. (FYI: Jesus could be a bit of a killjoy at these events, saying things like, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Most times this dispersed the crowd, which really angered the concessionaires).

The Father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32) - A certain father had two sons. The eldest son was a hardworking bloke who earned his keep on the family farm. The youngest son was more of a free spirit, and one day said to his father, "Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me" ... or in today's terms, "Hey Dad, can you lend me $50 and the car keys." So the youngest son went out into the world and pisseth away his inheritance in no time on wine, women, and song while the eldest son remained behind and toiled away on the farm. Broke, hungry, and a bit hung over, the youngest son returned home to announce that he was "no more worthy to be called thy son," to which his father responded something like, "Fiddlesticks, my son ... in fact, we're going to throw a big party in your honor!" (or according to the Bible, "For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is now found.") So, the father had his servants kill the fatted calf and everyone made merry. The eldest son, who was still out in the fields toiling away, heard the revelry and "drew nigh to the house" to see what was up. When he realized a party was being held for his long lost brother he became quite angry and refused to join in. The father explained, saying unto him, "Son, thou art ever with me, and all I have is thine." To which the eldest son replied, "Phew! I always thought you said 'all I have is twine'!" Knowing now that his father's fortune was more than merely balls and balls of twine and string, but instead bags and bags of gold and silver, the eldest brother joined the party and made merry. And the moral of the story: Easy come, easy pisseth away

Happy Father's Day!

Jack Sheedy

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