Today's Reading: Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer
Daily Lectionary: Exodus 24:1-18, Luke 5:1-16
God tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father...(Small Catechism, Lord's Prayer, Intro.)
Because of feminist sentiments, and because there are so many broken homes today, some say that we shouldn't speak of God as a Father. The image of a father is a turn-off to many because of disappointments with their own fathers. Others argue that God can be compared to a mother as well as a father and why shouldn't we address God as “Our Father/Mother who art in heaven” (as I have seen done on more than one college campus)?
The Scriptures teach otherwise. When asked how to pray, our Lord taught explicitly to address God as “Our Father.” He further says to Mary Magdalene,” I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (John 20:7).
Furthermore, who is our true father? Our earthly father’s initiative helped bring us into being, and guarded over us when we were young, and provided for us, and guided us. The fact that some earthly fathers have failed in one or more of these points only underlines the expectations we have of fathers. Our heavenly Father, however, continues to sustain our being, protects us, provides for us, and guides us. God is our true Father, while our earthly fathers have a God-like office for a few years.
Finally, God is a Father rather than a mother because there is a fundamental difference in these parental relationships. The mother needs the infant almost as much as the infant needs the mother. This is why in more than 95% of child custody cases the mother rather than the father gets the child. The father can walk away from his child (current statistics suggest that almost half do). This means that if your father is involved in your life it is because he has chosen to.
This is a sobering truth about our God. He does not need us. He could abandon His creation. But He has lovingly chosen not to do so. He has chosen to make us part of His family, and “tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father and that we are His true children.”
Our Father by whose name All fatherhood is known, Who dost in love proclaim Each family Thine own, Bless Thou all parents, guarding well, With constant love as sentinel, The homes in which Thy people dwell.(LSB 863 v.1)
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