Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Do you miss it?

Do you miss it? Questions like this were asked by a number of people referencing Caitlyn’s entrance into the church on Sunday for the Eucharist. Excited to see her father, Marshall, across the room, Caitlyn went running across the sanctuary yelling “Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” No doubt those who asked remembered when we first arrived at St. Alban’s and David’s pronouncements at the same time of “That’s my dad!”

I must confess that at first blanche I had not given it much thought, but after some quick reflection, I realized that there was a fantastic lesson in the exuberance and love expressed by some of our littlest members. You and I as His disciples are told by Jesus to think of ourselves as able to go to our Father in heaven and call Him “Abba!” Abba, of course, is the Hebrew word most akin to Daddy. It connotes both a close relationship and an innocence of worldly demands. It is a secure if informal relationship, full of trust and joy.

No doubt many of us are comfortable with think of God as our Savior. Those a bit further in the walk with Christ and further down the path of His sanctification might even be able to think of Him as Lord and as Teacher and as other important roles in our lives, but how many of us would ever be comfortable thinking of Him as Daddy? For those among us who suffered at the hands of abusive or incompetent fathers, such a relationship might seem impossible. And were it left up to us, we would be correct.

Thankfully and mercifully, He began the work in us to make such a relationship possible. When we were enemies and haters of Him, He still died for us. When we unwilling to seek forgiveness or to grant forgiveness to others, He came among us to teach us of our need of forgiveness and the need for us to forgive. When we were incapable of loving others as He so loved His people, He came down to heaven to show us Himself both His love and the cost of our hard hearts. And when we thought ourselves wise and informed, He taught us that we should all come to Him like a young child.

The same enthusiasm, the same utter trust, the same peace and contentment with which our little ones approach their parents ought to be reflective of how we approach Him when we gather in worship. Like children choirs who sing loudly and enthusiastically, even if they are a bit out of tune, we should sing joyfully to Him, knowing He loves our joyful noise! Like little children with needs and wants who never give up asking, we should also be going to Him in prayer certain and trusting in the knowledge that He will give us precisely what we need without mistakes. And like little ones who run to fathers confidently and innocently celebrating “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy,” we should approach Him with the same confidence, the same closeness, the same utter trust and love, knowing that only He ever truly loved us at those times we were most unlovable, knowing that He sealed that relationship with the blood of His Son to make that cry of celebration, and that wonderful relationship, possible for all eternity!

Christ’s Peace,

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