• Pastor Nancy Raabe

The Lord's Prayer I: "Our Father...."



Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

“Almighty, merciful God, Father, I give you praise, honor, and thanks that you protect and preserve me, a poor sinner, in such a fatherly manner.” (Johannes Bugenhagen, 1485-1558)


For many people, their perception of God as “father” is clouded by the experience of their earthly fathers. No mortal father is perfect. All sin and fall short of the glory of God. The degree of that sin, however, can affect the flowering of a child’s personality from a young age and determine the way in which the child learns to connect with the world.


A distant and detached father might mean the child will struggle all their life to make and maintain friendships and life-giving emotional connections with others. A verbally abusive father erodes a child’s confidence and sense of self-worth. A physically abusive father makes fear the primary lens through which the child comes to see the world. A manipulative father undermines a child’s confidence in his or her own decision-making. A father who is largely absent fixes the conviction in the child’s mind that life is less valuable than work. As we grow into adults, it seems to be almost instinctual that we turn these experiences back on ourselves and cast blame there for a life that fails to flower as we gradually realize it might have.


Resist the urge to do so. This is no less than a matter of life and death. Turn instead to our heavenly Father, who has been waiting eagerly to welcome us back into his arms.

Because God created us out of his inestimable love,[1] God knows everything about us, the good and the bad. God sees through to the center of our soul where that unblemished being who he created resides. God knows all that we have been through and been loving us this whole time with the love of one who formed us from dust, tended to us in the womb,[2] gave birth to us and called us into his service.


God, our true father, will never fail us. Turn to him, know his love, and live.

___________________________

[1] …which is why the doctrine of Original Sin must be considered a fallacy.


[2] “For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13)

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