Just a reminder. We imported the idea of calling this day "Fathers' Day" from the Americans. Until then it went by its traditional name of "Sunday".
So in a back-formational piece of linguistic engineering, the Beaker Folk are henceforth calling this Sunday "Fathering Sunday". This makes it feel older and more traditional, divorces it from Americana, and yet puts the pressure on the fathers. It does however have the downside of recalling that the verb "to father" means "to cause to be conceived". Which is not what we will be encouraging, except within the ambit of a loving relationship - however defined. In which case, that's fine.
But according to the new Beaker tradition, which I just invented, Fathering Sunday is now the day on which women will say, in exasperation, to their children "You're just like your father". After more than twenty years of waiting, I have been looking forward to using this expression on Young Keith. Except that I currently don't know where he is. Which, to be fair, means he is indeed just like this father.
And I think this highlights my real point this morning. The United Kingdom has imported this daft idea of "Father's Day" from the States, and as a result we in the Church in particular have emptied a whole load more egg-shells onto the floor, on which to walk on this special day. We already had this problem when we started giving flowers to mothers on Mothering Sunday - and now we've got it again. All over the country, last-minute checks are going on as preachers are ensuring that when they crow-barred some references to God as Father into the Sermon on the Seed, they didn't do it in such a way as to upset someone who's lost a father, someone who's been raised by wolves, someone who's divorced and never sees his children, and so on.
Although another point also strikes me. Given a story about a man who scatters his seed, and then wanders off and forgets it, paying no attention to whether or how it will grow, or indeed where - we're back to the whole concept of "fathering" again. When I catch Young Keith he's in real trouble.