“In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.”Galatians 4:3-7 ESV
The Father’s Son
Jesus rises out of the darkness of man’s rebellion and gives us a glimpse into the most intimate of relationships, that of the Son to His Father. We are able to watch the divine enfleshed and witness the interactions of a family perfected in love. We are shown a relationship filled with the most profound devotion, the humblest submission, and complete trust.
Such intimacy is most apparent when Jesus refers to His Father. Jesus spoke in Aramaic; the word he used for father was Abba. The word Abba has a distinct connotation. Abba lacks the formality and separateness implied by the English father. It is not even the more approachable dad. Abba was used by little children and can best be translated as daddy. Daddy is a word that speaks of intimacy, adoration, and humble dependence. We are given an image that is so touching and so understandable. What a beautiful bond between a daddy and his child!
He’s Our Abba, Also
And yet, when Jesus instructs his disciples on how to pray, he begins with an address that astounds us. “After this manner pray you: Our Father . . .” Jesus, the perfect son of God, teaches us to pray to Abba, our daddy. Jesus extends the realm of intimacy, he opens the relationship. The Son of God stretches out his arms and welcomes us to Abba, our most beloved daddy.
In the opening address, it is here that the gospel is wrapped up in two words, “Our Father.” Our Creator sends his Son to reveal the relationship that He desires to have with us – He wants to be our Daddy. As St. Paul states, “we have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness that we are children of God”.
During this Advent season, help us marvel at the intimacy and trust between You and Your Son. And help us also to go further into the inner courts where we approach You, Our Father, with all of the simplicity and directness of a child to their Daddy. Amen.
My Guest Today
Ashley Wallace is the author of The Liturgical Home: Advent. She is a homeschooling mom of four and is also the wife of an Anglican priest. She and her family live in the panhandle of Florida, where they planted Apostles By-the-Sea Anglican Church.