And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” vs. 6Galatians 4:6-7
Most people think of faith in personal terms. God is not some amorphous blob, a giant dollop of nothingness, but a being with whom we can have a warm and lasting relationship. And it seems to be most natural for us to think of God as a parent, and more particularly as our Father. Paul says that’s because the Spirit of Jesus, the Son of God, dwells in our hearts, and his Spirit, together with ours, cries to God as Abba or Father. For some that language, as a remnant of a patriarchal societal system, is difficult, and they would rather use some other term to address God in prayer. Some, following the long tradition of goddess worship, have begun to think of God as Mother, and that’s certainly a worthy alternative. Our problem comes from language. It’s almost impossible to find gender neutral descriptions of God that carry any kind of intimacy or closeness. Parent just isn’t a warm substitute for either father or mother. Perhaps it’s best to simply stop worrying about proper usage and use the language of our hearts. Whether that’s Abba or Amma doesn’t make any difference. We are all children of God and it’s proper for our prayers to reflect a high level of intimacy. Remember, it’s our prayer that counts and not the form of address.
Thought for the Day: What’s my heart language for God?