June 21, 2020 was the second Sunday after the resumption of onsite gatherings at the Shilipu Church in Baoji City, Shaanxi since the COVID-10 outbreak in late January. On this day which was also Father's Day, Baoji Shilipu Church held a special worship service to celebrate the special day.
Beginning at 8:00 a.m, the brothers and sisters of Shilipu Church consciously wore masks. Under the arrangement of the sisters in charge of reception, they went, in an orderly manner, from the north entrance of the main hall to the temperature measurement station in front of the main hall on the second floor. They lined up at a distance of 1 meter and, one by one had their temperatures taken by the sisters of the "security department". They then registered their respective information before entering the church. Everyone was seated in their own position which, in advance, had been marked 1 meter apart.
Then at 8:30 a.m., the Shilipu Church in Baoji City held the special worship service for Father's Day, which was on June 21st. The host, Brother Yao Chao, began with the greeting, "Happy Father's Day, Brothers and Sisters. Peace in the Lord".
The choir contained more than 60 brothers and sisters who were dressed in white robes. They stood in four rows under the red cross on the main stage and sang two hymns: "I am Your Child" and "Father in Heaven Watches Over".
Elder Pang Xianhua preached on the theme especially relevant to Father's Day. She said in her opening remarks: “Every year, the third Sunday of June is Father's Day. Father's Day, as the name implies, is a father's holiday, and is about being grateful for a father's nurturing grace. Father's Day originated in the United States and was initiated by Mrs. Bruce Dodd. It has been widely celebrated around the world. Father's Day is not a legal holiday in China, but it has become popular in China in recent years. "In order to thank my father for his upbringing and heavy love, I want to share the following 'three good fathers’ in the Bible."
Elder Pang Xianhua preached on the theme, "Three Good Fathers", based on the Scriptures from Genesis 21:2--3, Matt 2:13-15, and 1 Cor. 4:17, and shared about three good fathers in the Bible.
Abraham, Isaac's faithful father. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him."
Joseph was the physical father of Jesus. The spiritual father of Timothy was Paul. Paul wrote to Timothy, "For this reason, I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church."
Through the example of the "three good fathers" mentioned above, we are reminded how every father should treat, discipline, love, and accept their children. They can also bring their children to the Heavenly Father when he (she) is an adult, and give them a positive influence. Secondly, through the sermon, the three godly fathers were blessed and were good fathers, and that their families were also blessed and at peace with God. The three fathers also set an example for their children. At the same time, they also led their families in living a spiritual life of worshipping and loving God.
- Translated by Abigail Wu