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Foundations For Our Future #89

Foundations for Our Future (89)

by: The Rev. Dr. Jon Shuler

Our Father

After a lifetime praying the Lord’s Prayer, it still astounds me that the prayer begins with “Our Father.” (Matthew 6:9) The Lord Jesus is telling us to address the creator of all the universe as a beloved father. It may well be that what we learn from Paul is even closer to what Jesus himself actually prayed when he says “we cry abba.” (Romans 8:15) To get the distinction think of the difference between hearing your mother say, “Your father wants to speak with you,” to the sound of a daughter saying: “Daddy can I climb into your lap?” The prayer the Lord gives us is a prayer of love and intimacy.

But it continues with a profound addition. He is our Father “in heaven.” He dwells beyond space and time. He is the high and holy one. All truth, all beauty, all goodness, all that gives life, comes from him. Nothing we can ever need will not be provided by him for his children. Nothing that is good for us will be withheld. We are to learn to trust him in all things, at all times, and in all places. He is our loving Father in Heaven.

Do you notice something else? We address him as part of a family that includes all who love him. We are not told to pray “My Father” but “Our Father.” This is very significant for those who are called in Christ Jesus. We belong to a community of faithful ones, we are part of the church of the Lord Jesus, we are members one of another.