Lenten Devotional: March 2nd
In God the Father Almighty
These first portions of the Apostles' Creed explore God in the three persons of the trinity – "Father," "Son," and "Holy Spirit."
We've grown up calling God "Father" but frankly it's weird and inappropriate. God created the universe and everything in it. God has more power that we can ever conceive. God put God's own breath into our bodies, which were made from God's own image. We are miracles who owe our existence to this wonderful being, and we respond by calling God "Father"? That implies a much closer relationship than we should have. (That's like calling the Queen of England or the Pope "Buddy!") We should worship non-stop, not talk about God as if God cares about our paltry problems...
Except, God wants us to. That's earth shattering! It speaks profoundly of God's love for us. It's like God saying each day, "I love you so much. Let's talk. Tell me about your day." God WANTS to parent us. God WANTS to be in a real relationship with us, not just as a receiver of praise but as a confidante and a family member. God wants our love, not just our awe. Wow.
This is one of the best traditions in our faith – to call on "Father God" (or "Mother God," because God is bigger than gender nouns, of course).
The love of a parent is the most intense, enduring, and pure relationship that can exist on this earth. It's frightening and all-encompassing. Parents offer correction, guidance, grace, and companionship to their children. We benefit so much from this arrangement that it hardly seems fair.
It's a little like the scene in the musical Annie when Oliver Warbucks wants Annie to call him "Daddy" and it represents this momentous change in both their lives. She belongs to someone, and he takes responsibility for her.
Every time we pray "Our Father who art in heaven" or state that we believe "In God the Father Almighty" we are not just making a statement about who God is, we are also reminding ourselves of a privileged relationship with the one true God.
God picked you. You were chosen to be a child of God. It is an honor, and it is cause to celebrate daily. Call out to your heavenly Father in thanks.
Holy Parent, every day you bless us with new mercies and gifts. Your love for us is incomprehensible. Help us to live into that love, to see your beloved each time we look in the mirror, and to show respect to our brothers and sisters through your affection, which you give freely. May we make you proud. Amen.
Rev. Kelly Staples, Associate Pastor, NorthPark Presbyterian Church