This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

‘Father’ is holy

Tim Bentch is right on (“Yes, God Is Our Father,” Blog, June 4). Names in the Bible for God and people have special meaning. Jesus said when you pray, say, “Our Father, who art in heaven, holy is your name.” God’s name — Father — according to Jesus, is holy. It was also intimate, and especially so when Jesus added “Abba, Father.” The Spirit initiated this (Gal. 4:6). Abba is our “papa,” an endearing name.

We may not understand why we should use Father. But likely it was because it was related to the church, which is family. The Apostle Paul supports this when he says, “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth derives its name” (Eph. 3:14-15). We call fellow believers sister and brother. Jesus, too, calls us that (Heb. 2:11-12).

The Fatherhood of God is a mystery. Though we may not understand why, I’m sure the Father is pleased when we reverently address him as such. Do I have the right to always substitute another name for Father any more than I have the authority to alter any other of Jesus’ teachings?

Eugene K. Souder
Harrisonburg, Va.

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