Reading through Brennan's chapter on "our Father" has been a truly settling experience this morning. Once again there's not a whole lot of "new" material here but such good truth to be reminded of. In the chapter Brennan focuses on prayer. Specifically how Jesus taught His disciples to pray, beginning with "our Father", or "Abba".
"Abba means in literal English: daddy, papa, my own dear father." "Pagan philosophers such as Aristotle arrived at the existence of God via human reason and referred to Him in vague, impersonal terms: the uncaused cause, the immovable mover. The prophets of Israel revealed the God of abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in a warmer, more compassionate manner. But only Jesus reveled to an astonished Jewish community that God is truly Father."
Brennan uses this beginning notion of "our Father" to ask the question "Is your own personal prayer life characterized by the simplicity, childlike candor, boundless trust, and easy familiarity of a little one crawling up in Daddy's lap?" There is a beautiful calm in know and loving God as our Father.
There are so many horrible stories of "fathers" who haven't lived up to their Godly example. So many who have hurt in more ways that I care to elaborate on here or imagine those they were charged to care for. If God is our Abba, our Father, then the greatest single act of rebellion against his character would be for a father to not act like one. To not offer the love his family needs and deserves. I'm so sorry for any of you who have experienced that type of a man. I do not understand nor have I experienced that. But, know that Abba loves you. You belong to Him. He welcomes you with open arms into a sweet embrace of his furious love for you.
For the next few days I will be doing as Brennan instructs. Maybe you should to. Find a chair. Sit quietly with palms turned up and pray with the rhythm of your breathing, "Abba, (as you inhale) I belong to You (as you exhale)".
It's so necessary to remember these truths.