When we see the letters MVP, we usually think of it being the acronym for Most Valuable Player, an award given to a team member who contributes significantly to winning a game of a particular sport. However, years ago our son gave the MVP mug pictured above to his dad recognizing him as being his Most Valuable Pop. Life could be described as a game involving teamwork between fathers and sons, so it is appropriate to think of nominating someone for the Most Valuable Pop award. Father’s Day seems to be an appropriate time to confer this type of honorary distinction. Sons and daughters, would you nominate your father for an MVP award this Father’s Day? Dads, do you feel like you qualify for an MVP award?
Wade Boggs, a third baseman who played baseball primarily for the Boston Red Sox, never received an award that specifically noted him as being an MVP for baseball. However, he did receive the American League Silver Slugger Award eight times and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005. I would consider him an MVP sportsman as a Most Valuable Player. Based upon how Boggs described the relationship he had with his father, I believe he could have nominated his father for an MVP award as Most Valuable Pop. Boggs has been quoted as saying, “Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad, and that’s why I call you dad, because you are so special to me. You taught me the game and you taught me how to play it right.” I like the differentiation Boggs makes between a father and a dad. Most every male has the potential to become a father but unless time and love is invested into the relationship, the role of dad will not be fulfilled.
I do not mean it disrespectfully when I suggest that our Heavenly Father could be the recipient of the MVP of Most Valuable Pop award. “Abba Father” is a significant Aramaic name for God that portrays how He relates to people. It can be translated as “Daddy.” Abba, like the name Pop, signifies the close, intimate relationship of a father to his child as well as the childlike trust that a young child puts in his dad. Jesus says in Mark 14:36, “Abba, Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” When Jesus calls His Heavenly Father by the name Abba, He is having a private conversation with Dad. When Jesus wholeheartedly surrenders His will to the will of God, I believe He is nominating His Father for the MVP award. Jesus has confidence and trust in who His Heavenly Father truly is. Now let’s think about what Romans 8:15 says about us as children of God, “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” Being a child of God gives each of us the right to truly call Him “Abba Father” and honor our Heavenly Father with the MVP award of Most Valuable Pop. Galatians 4:6 says, “Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
This Sunday we will take time to recognize all men in the role of fatherhood. The MVP award of Most Valuable Pop is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a dad. Happy Father’s Day to all who answer to a name such as Abba, Dad, Pop, etc.