Monday, June 21, 2010

Daddy and Mamma Mia

the fifth page for Monday, June 21, 2010

We are all children of God. On Sunday, I stepped out of the worship service to spend time with the children of our congregation. It was Father’s Day. I asked them to repeat after me the words of the Lord’s Prayer. I also talked about the enormous significance of Jesus teaching people to call God, the mysterious maker of the universe, “Father”. Many scholars have pointed out that the Aramaic word that the Gospels record Jesus as saying was actually “Abba”, which is more like “Daddy” than “Father”.

For people of my generation it is hard to hear the word “Abba” without thinking of a Swedish super-group from the 1970’s.(Mamma mia!) If we can get past that, it is wonderful to think that Jesus taught people to say “Dear Daddy” when addressing God.

My own kids are old enough, now, that they sometimes choose the less intimate “Dad”. (This is often when they think I am being tough on them, or being goofy, and the word is pronounced with extra vowels “Daaaaaad!”) But when they call me “Daddy” it feels like it has come straight from the heart, and that is where it goes, straight to my heart.

This leaves me hoping and praying, and holding to the faith that what Jesus was telling us is true, that when we pray, it is a heart-to-heart communication. We sang the following hymn at the beginning of our Father’s Day service:

Come, let us sing of a wonderful love,
tender and true, tender and true,
out of the heart of the Father above,
streaming to me and to you:
wonderful love, wonderful love
dwells in the heart of the Father above.

Jesus the Saviour this gospel to tell
joyfully came, joyfully came,
came with the helpless and hopeless to dwell,
sharing their sorrow and shame,
seeking the lost, seeking the lost,
saving, redeeming at measureless cost.

Jesus is seeking the wanderers yet;
why do they roam? why do they roam?
Love only waits to forgive and forget;
home, weary wanderers, home!
Wonderful love, wonderful love
dwells in the heart of the Father above.

Come to my heart, O thou wonderful love!
Come and abide, come and abide,
lifting my life till it rises above
envy and falsehood and pride:
seeking to be, seeking to be
lowly and humble, a learner of thee.