“Abba” isn’t just a Swedish rock group. In Hebrew, “abba” means “daddy.” Not just “father”, which is more formal, maybe even stern. Daddy. Jesus called His holy Father in heaven “daddy.” Jesus enabled adoption of we believers fully into His family as co-equal sons of God, our Father, our Daddy. Daddy adopted us.
If you’re a pious, long-time follower of Jesus, does this make you uncomfortable? My kids are grown. Occasionally, my daughters will still call me “daddy” but my son never does anymore. It is just how we interact with each other, how we all grew. “Daddy” seems like a more innocent way of intimately addressing one’s father. That’s not how we’re supposed to think of God (especially if we’re Amish, Catholic, or conservative Lutheran, which are, in some practices, quite similar). He’s God and we aren’t! He isn’t touchy-feely!
If you’re uncomfortable, take it up with Holy Spirit. Tell Him you’re not feeling too copasetic, that you, as a grown adult, don’t feel right calling the holy, formal, all-powerful Father “Daddy.” Maybe He’ll respond, “that’s ok. Daddy understands.”
Daddy Father wants us to be intimate with Him. Personal. Fully disclosed, fully revealed, fully cradled in His strong loving and powerful arms. He made each of us to reflect His character; He made each of us through His own Son, Jesus. Abba Daddy Father wants us to revere, honor, and respect Him but only as a way of worshipping Him, not in fear or dread but in love and peace. He looks at us through the lens of His perfect Son and sees us as He made us. He loves us fully and lives for us to love Him that way in return.
Jesus made it possible to approach Abba Father as an innocent child would. The Spirit of Jesus and Abba Father gave us knowledge of Him so that we might love Him that way, sharing His love with others in doing so. He loved us enough to let the best part of Him be murdered as a total innocent so that He could redeem us and bring us to Him. It wasn’t done on a whim: it was a centuries-old plan of salvation that only He could accomplish, going back to the very beginnings of mankind.
If it makes you uncomfortable relating to God the Father this way, take comfort. Jesus did, there in Gethsemene, in His toughest moments. He went to His Father in the most intimate way possible during the most serious prayer of His life. And the Father heard Him. Take comfort in Abba Daddy Father. Our Savior did.
For further reading: Mark 14:36, Acts 16:17, Romans 5:5, Romans 8:15-16, Galatians 4:7
Abba, Father, I place my heart, trust, and all love in You.
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