Daily Lectionary: Judges 6:1-24; Acts 14:19-15:4

Our Father who art in heaven. (Small Catechism: Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. There is an invitation in these words: God tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father and that we are His true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask Him as dear children ask their dear father.

To call God, the Maker of the universe, “Father,” seems a bit familiar if not somewhat “cheeky.” It’s like calling a judge in court or the police officer who pulls you over for speeding by his first name. That’ll land you in jail. We’re talking about the God who made the heavens and the earth by the power of His Word. How dare we call him “Father,” “Abba,” “Daddy.”

How dare we, who are sinners, call God Father? Who are we to presume that we are on such good terms with God? How dare we? Well, we dare because Jesus, the Son of God, said so. “When you pray, say, ‘Our Father in heaven.’” And Jesus the Son knows what pleases His Father.

The tender invitation comes in Baptism where we are birthed as children of God. There we receive the Spirit of adoption who cries out, “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15). There we also received the Our Father, the prayer Jesus gave His disciples. Baptism is our permission to call God “Father” with delight. We are His children in Christ, and the Father loves to hear His children say “Abba, Father.”

It means that God obligates Himself to hear our prayers. Imagine the Father relaxing in His favorite easy chair, and suddenly the phone rings, much like that parable of the friend pounding on the door at midnight. The Father just wants to relax, so the Son picks up the phone and says, “Dad, you need to take this one. It’s family.”

Your Father in heaven always takes your call, because Jesus the Son insists upon it. He died and rose to win you the privilege to call God “Father.” You are family. You are a child of God, baptized into the Son, praying in the Spirit. When you pray, say, “Our Father.” In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

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