Happy Abba’s Day

Today is Father’s Day here in the USA, and in some other parts of the world as well. This got me thinking about how some people’s faith journey is impacted by their relationship with their earthly father. What I mean by that is there are people who were blessed with a loving, caring father, so they may have an easier time embracing the idea of a loving, caring Heavenly Father. On the other hand, people whose father was absent, distant, mean, or worse probably struggle to think of a Heavenly Father as a good thing.

As a father myself, though, I can’t help but think that no matter how hard I tried, there were myriad times and ways I failed to be the loving, caring father I wanted (and still want) to be. I’m not beating myself up here, but I’m saying this to point out that Jesus invited us to look past our shortcomings as fathers and those of our own fathers when he said:

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

Jesus, in Matthew 7:9-11

What this says to me is that each of us dads who really are trying our best still can’t measure up to how loving and caring our Heavenly Father is for each and every one of us, His children. I also believe Jesus is hinting at the idea that no matter how good or bad our earthly father is or was, we should not judge God as Father based on that standard since God is infinitely better than even the best earthly father, and His love and greatness can overcome even the most horrible father.

And this further got me thinking about how Jesus modeled for us how we should relate to our Heavenly Father. When speaking with God the Father, Jesus often did so out loud so we could catch a glimpse into their conversations–and that’s really what prayer is intended to be: a conversation with God. And in those conversations, Jesus did not use grandiose, inflated, “religious” language. Instead, he used intimate, loving words when talking with God. In fact, he didn’t generally use the formal term, “Father”. Instead, he favored the more colloquial Aramaic term, “Abba”, which is closer to what we would usually say as “Dad”.

Here’s the thing: Jesus is showing us that we don’t have a God that’s “out there somewhere” or aloof and living by Himself in an ivory cathedral, not wanting to be bothered by us. He’s demonstrating for us that God is with us, near enough to hear us whisper, “Dad,” even on the darkest of nights. Jesus is telling us that no matter how good a dad we try to be or how great a dad we have had, God is an infinitely better father. He wants what’s best for us even more than we hope that for our children. He loves us so much more than our earthly dads ever could, no matter how hard they try.

So on this Father’s Day, I wish all the dads out there a Happy Father’s Day, and I invite all of us to thank our Heavenly Dad for the countless ways He has loved us and cherished us and blessed us, far beyond even what we could ever ask or imagine.

Photo by Mohamed Awwam on Unsplash

About Writing & Photography by David K. Carpenter

Photographer of Light and Life, Writer of Life as it finds me
This entry was posted in Christian, Faith and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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