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“When Israel was a boy, I loved him; I called my son out of Egypt; but the more I called, the further they went from me…” Hosea 11:1-2

God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!’ Galatians 4:6

To speak of God is already a task thwart with dangers on every side. There is the all too natural breaking of the 4th commandment by profaning the name of God in word and deed (e.g., maybe we could agree that OMG should be restricted to either a prayer or a praise). Or we are confronted with the ever-present possibility of committing idolatry by either creating a conceptional image of God that distorts or leads away from the living God or by devoting our lives to lesser things (2nd Commandment). I am reminded by the great Karl Barth’s caution that "One cannot speak of God simply by speaking of man in a loud voice."

The image of God as father carries with it additional hazards. There is the anthropomorphic problem of giving the Creator creaturely gender. A thornier issue arises when consciously or subconsciously our relationship with the heavenly father is experienced through the filter of an earthly one. If you were blessed with a great dad, that may be a bridge to faith; but it does not take a lot of imagination to see myriads of situations where earthly fathers could make imaging God as father problematic.

But the Bible is willing to risk the above-mentioned problems to convey the radical idea that we are the beloved children of God. And because of Jesus, we can approach the Immortal Invisible one as “daddy” (meaning of Abba). On this Father’s Day as we celebrate and/or forgive; as we enjoy and/or remember our earthly fathers, let us also be grateful for a Heavenly one, who someday will make all things new-especially everything that was broken in this life.


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