By Chris WittsThursday 26 Dec 2013Morning Devotions with Chris WittsUncategorizedReading Time: 0 minutes
God wishes to be known by the sweet name of Father. Some know Him as Creator,Ruler,Lawgiver,Judge or as a severe tyrant ready to punish,but many do not know that He is also Father,a loving Father who created each one of us and all things around us out of his infinite love for us. From all eternity,long before we had our being,we were in the Father’s mind and cradled in His bosom until the appointed time for us to be born into the world. He continues to love us not as a multitude but individually,not occasionally but every moment of our existence. To impress us with His fatherly love,He tells us in the words of sacred scripture,”I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3).
In creating us,in giving us our being,God became our Father and we became the children of God-His sons and daughters,brothers and sisters in the same human family under the fatherhood of God.
It is the nature of a child to love its father. By knowing God as Father and calling upon Him by the tender and loving name of Father,mankind would necessarily love Him more. “Whoever loves God must also love his brother” (1 John 4:21).
God wants us to know Him as Father. He wishes it. Did not He Himself impress on us that He is our Father? “I will be a Father to you,and you will be My sons and daughters” (2 Cor. 6:18). “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us,that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1). And again,”Do not be afraid,little flock,for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). Repeatedly God calls us His children and tells us to call Him Father.
What could make mankind more aware of the divine fatherhood of God,and what better means to increase among man a greater knowledge and a specific and universal feast to God our Father and Creator?
Worship to the Father is not less orthodox than is worship to the Son or the Holy Spirit. Worship to the divine fatherhood was revealed to us by Christ in the four Gospels. In studying the life of Christ we find that He had one supreme devotion-God,the Father. The word “Father”-your Father,My Father-arose constantly from His heart. It was continually on His sacred lips. When speaking of God,He always used the word Father. Only once is it recorded in the Gospels that He used the word “God,” and that was on the cross in His cry of dereliction,”My God … why have You forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46).
According to the Gospel of St. Matthew,Christ uttered the word Father 41 times; in the Gospel of St. Luke it is recorded 14 times; in St. Mark,4 times; in St. John,112 times. In His farewell address to His apostles at the Last Supper,according to St. John’s account,Christ repeated the word 49 times. So prevalent were His utterances regarding His Father that Philip broke out in these memorable words: “Lord,show us the Father” (John 14:8).
When teaching His disciples that most sublime and beautiful prayer,He said,”When you pray … pray to your Father” (Matt. 6:6). In His sermon on the Mount we hear Him putting forth the glory of the Father as a rightful motive in our good works,saying,”let your light shine before men,that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). On trusting in God,”Do not worry … what you will eat or drink. … Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap … and yet your heavenly Father feeds them” (Matt. 6:25-26). On forgiving injuries,”If you forgive men when they sin against you,your heavenly Father will also forgive you” (Matt. 6:14). In comforting His apostles,”In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so,I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2). After His resurrection,”I am returning to My Father and your Father,to My God and your God” (John 20:17). From the tender age of twelve when He said to His parents,”Didn’t you know I had to be in My Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49) until the end of His life when He prayed,”Father into your hands I commit My spirit” (Luke 23:46),Christ repeatedly called upon God by the name of father.
It is evident that Christ wanted to impress on us the divine fatherhood. He came to reveal the Father to us and to lead us to Him. Throughout His life,His chief preoccupation was the glory of His Father and the transformation of all men into loving children of the Father. Following His example and as children of God,it is our duty to worship the Father and to have a pre-eminent devotion to Him.
In its self-sufficiency,the world today has lost its awareness of the Father and Creator. Our time needs an awakening of the truth that God is our Father,the Father of all men. All are brothers and sisters in the same human family under the fatherhood of God,since He created all.
Why is there so little love in the human family? Why so much hate,violence,war and madness in the world today? Men have forgotten the eternal truth that God is our common Father and that all men are brothers and sisters in the family of God. Like the prodigal son,our world,fettered and wearied in its misdeeds of hate and human malice,needs to return to the Father in whom it can find mercy and compassion and in whom it can find new hope in its crises and frustrations. God is an indulgent Father,a forgiving Father,”The Father judges no one” (John 5:22). There cannot be love and harmony among men unless men acknowledge God as their Father. There cannot be a brotherhood of men without the fatherhood of God. When the world again recognises God as its Father and responds as loving children,only then can we hope for love among men and peace among nations.