“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out,‘Abba, Father.’” (Romans 8:15)
Around many kitchen tables in old German homes, little children may still be heard concluding dinner prayers by saying, “Abba, lieber Vater. Amen.”
Some may not know that these words repeat those of the Holy Apostle in Romans 8:15. They are simply words the children are taught to pray from early on. Sometimes, as children, we may not always know enough to understand, but we know enough.
I always knew the things I did behind my father’s back would not please him. Perhaps I couldn’t quite explain it, beyond the fact that “Dad’ll get steamed if he finds out!” But I knew. As his son, how could I think that he would want anything bad to befall me? As his son, I knew enough to know that Dad wanted only my good.
The Holy Apostle says we have the Spirit of our Father. We are His sons, through Baptism into Jesus. Christ’s Father is now our Father, too. We call Him “Ours.” With His Spirit comes that testimony that we are His dear children and that He is our dear Father, and who would ever dream that Dad would want a single bad thing to befall us? He gave us His Son! He warns us only for our good, to keep us safe.
St. Paul speaks hard words today: “If you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Paul is saying that there are those who are led by the Spirit of God, and they are God’s children, God’s holy, Baptized, Absolved-because-of-Jesus children. These are the sons of God.
It is not possible that His children would not pray, “Abba, lieber Vater!” It is not possible that they would not have His Spirit, testifying that He only wants our good, only wants us with Him for eternity in heaven. That is why He is so concerned about our sin.
Dear children, you are heirs with Christ, because of Christ. God has given you His Son, first upon a cross, and then in Holy Baptism. And now, daily even, in His Word, His Holy Absolution, and His Supper. Find a reverend father in this world who will feed you daily, if you need it! All to help you cry, as true children, “Abba! Dear Father!” Amen.
Daily Lectionary: Romans 8:12-17
Higher Things would like to thank the Rev. Rick Sawyer (Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and School, Brandon, MS - firstname.lastname@example.org) for writing this season's Reflections.
Questions or comments regarding the Reflections may be sent to the Rev. Mark Buetow, Reflections Editor, email@example.com.
Help keep the Higher Things Daily Reflections FREE!
Visit our website at www.higherthings.org to read Reflections online each day. Or sign up to receive daily Reflections in your e-mail Inbox by sending subscribing at: http://higherthings.org/reflections.html
Consider making a donation to support this service:
Higher Things exists and grows on the basis of donations and free-will offerings from congregations and individuals. All donations are tax-deductible. If you wish to contribute to the work of Higher Things, Please send your donation to:
Higher Things, Inc.
P.O. Box 155
Holt, MO 64048
(Donations are also accepted at www.higherthings.org via credit card or PayPal on our support page.)