Our attention is usually on the fact that Jesus teaches us to call upon God as “Father”. There is a time and place for other titles such as “Almighty God” or “Eternal Lord”, but even these titles are rooted in the knowledge that God has shown himself as our Father. The Aramaic word ‘abba’ survives in the text, in the tradition, and in the song of the church.
But it is also important to recognize that Jesus teaches us to call upon God as Our Father. To call upon God as Father is not only to recognize the loving relationship we each have with God, it is to recognize that we are sisters and brothers to one another.
Words slip out sometimes in our modern, complicated families. I tried to get my stepsister to ask my stepfather for things because he was her “real father”. I thought he would make him more attentive to her plea. But there are no stepsiblings in the world God has made; no half siblings. We are all God’s children.
The Prayer for Week 1: “Our Father”
To you, O God, all voices rise,
and you hear the cries of the whole human community.
Send forth your Spirit into every heart
and bind us together as children of one heavenly father. Amen
Luther’s Small Catechism on the Lord’s Prayer
“Our Father who art in heaven.”
What does this mean?
Here God encourages us to believe that he is truly our Father and we are his children. We therefore are to pray to him with complete confidence just as children speaking to their loving father.