March 26, 2014: God’s Name is Father

~by Louis Templeman

Who is God? What does he want?

Let’s answer that question by going back to the beginning. Or, back to Genesis. The well-known opener to the Scripture record is, “In the beginning God created . . . .?” So, God is creator. It also says, “Then God said: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness . . . male and female he created them.” Then comes the powerful phrase that tells so much about God’s character, “God blessed them.”

God made our world. He made us so we could have families and not be alone. God wants people to be blessed. Or, happy, at peace, fulfilled, etc.

Is this all God wanted from his creation? Or, did he want more? In Genesis Chapter 3 we find God walking in the garden “in the breezy part of the day” where he placed his people. He knew the people were hiding so he called out, “Where are you?” Obviously God wanted to have fellowship, community and relationship with his people. God wanted a family.

Even as children usually resemble their parents, God made people in his own image so we would bear familial resemblance to him. Thus was God’s plan. To create a beautiful world. To fill it with beautiful people. To call his own. What God wanted was to be a father.

When Jesus began teaching his disciples of God he let them know right away God was their father. In fact, no later than age 12 Jesus was calling God his Father. He told his parents after he had been missing for three days, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know I had to be about my father’s business?”

Sometimes Jesus even referred to him as Abba. This is an ancient Aramaic rendition of the child’s phrase, “Da-da;” a first childish word a baby uses to name his daddy. This is the depth of endearment we can have with God Almighty. As a child reaches out his trusting arms to father crying “Da-da”, so we can expect similar love, attention and pity from God.

Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “Our Father who is in heaven . . . .” To Mary Magdalen, after he had risen from the dead, Jesus said (John 20: 17), “I am going to my Father and your Father. My God and your God.”

God’s name is Father.

~Louis Templeman

Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D.

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