Thursday, June 15, 2017

Who's Your Daddy?

With Father’s Day right around the corner, I think now is a good time to share some thoughts about the return of Marvel’s loveable losers in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

After banding together to save the galaxy from Ronan the Accuser’s wrath, the Guardians of the Galaxy earned their moniker. Now regarded as heroes, the Guardians must help their team leader, Star Lord (a.k.a Peter Quill), unravel the mystery of Peter’s true parentage.


A Missouri native, Peter lost his mother to cancer and never knew his father. He was raised by a space pirate named Yondu who claims to have kept Peter around because, as Yondu puts it, "He was skinny, could fit into places that we couldn't. Good for thieving."

In time, however, Peter meets his true father, an ancient celestial being who calls himself Ego. A powerful living planet, Ego created a human body for himself so that he could explore the universe and interact with biological life. At first, Ego seems to be a caring and compassionate father, eager to build a relationship with Peter. The two even enjoy a game of catch. However, Peter soon discovers that his father is a ruthless entity with a god complex who wishes to conquer the universe through an extinction-level plan known as the Expansion. He tells Peter, “I need to fulfill life's one true purpose, to grow and spread, covering all that exists until everything is... me!” Talk about an ego.

After a pitched battle with Ego that rages all the way to the core of the planet, Ego—the entire planet—explodes. Yondu shows up just in time wearing a flight suit and rescues Peter from the destruction. He flies Peter to safety then puts his space suit on Peter, sacrificing himself so that Peter can live. Before freezing to death in the cold airless vacuum, Yondu assures Peter, “He may have been your father, boy, but he wasn't your daddy.” Only then does Peter realize, “Sometimes, the thing you've been looking for your whole life is right there beside you all along.”

Sadly, many of us can relate to Peter’s experience. In America, more than 20 million children live in a home without the physical presence of a father.  Millions more have dads who are physically present, but emotionally absent.  If it were classified as a disease, fatherlessness would be an epidemic worthy of attention as a national emergency. If you grew up without a father or much of one, then Father’s Day may just be another fatherless day to you. But the Bible has some good news for people like Peter.

God wants to be your Father!

Of all the images God uses to describe his relationship with human beings, I think the most meaningful is Father. The New Testament refers to God as Father more than two hundred times. Jesus taught his followers to pray, saying, “Our Father who art in heaven…” (Luke 11:2). The Bible says, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1 NIV).

God not only longs to be your Father, but he wants to be your Daddy too. Scripture says, “you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’ For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children” (Romans 8:15-16 NLT). The word Abba is the Hebrew equivalent of our word Dad or Daddy.

Regardless of whether you had the world’s best dad or the world’s worst dad, I want to encourage you to find a Father in God. The entire Bible is the story of God the Father creating a family that will last for all eternity. He created you to be a part of it!