Scripture Reading: Galatians 4:4-7.
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.
Several years ago at a Bible study, I said something to the effect that I like the image of God represented by the name Abba since learning the name was a term of endearment perhaps spoken by a small child like our Daddy. I was quickly and strongly corrected by another woman in the group who assured me it did not mean Daddy that the Almighty God should not be considered in such a familiar way. The whole group was silent for a moment. I certainly had no intentions of arguing with her she has a right to her opinion just as I was stating mine. The leader finally moved on to the next topic of discussion.
I am neither a Hebrew or Greek linguist so I cannot say how far afield I was from what Abba means. I could make the case that for a baby, parents are pretty omnipotent. It is still my opinion that the image of God as a parent, not just my parent but everybody’s parent, is an important theological imperative particularly in our world today.
We seem to have past the phase of sibling rivalry and are a society of some groups who truly believe they have exclusive rights to God as God’s only heirs. Do all of us fall into that pattern at one time or another? How can we learn to live together as the loving Family of God?
Prayer: Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Abba enfold us in your loving arms until we are empowered by your love to open our hearts to all your children. Amen.