Can you feel the love tonight?

March 8, 2012

The joyful sound of kids’ voices is an integral part of my life right now.  We like seeing children play and grow and thrive and succeed.  Today I learned my oldest son could be on a local morning talk show if he wins the cooking contest he will compete in as a finalist next Thursday against five peers; I saw my younger son roller blade over the church steps with a flip for his finale and then declare, “that was unintended!”; and colored with my daughter while pretending we were at camp.  Basically your average day with 3 kids.

Do you think God takes the same pleasure in us, that we take in our children?  I suspect yes.  Jesus teaches us to pray to God using the familiar term Abba, more closely translated “Daddy” than “Father”.  I personally shy away from masculine language for God.  I think that it is a flaw of the English language that we use gender-specific personal pronouns and yet “it” seems way too impersonal a way to refer to God.  I think a lot of people don’t relate to God as father because their relationship with their earthly father wasn’t one they would want to emulate with God.  I fall in that category too.

But now that I have kids, I kind of get it.  I understand how much a parent loves a child, how much they are willing to sacrifice, how much joy they find in their child’s existence – regardless of their faults and limitations.  Maybe I could use “Abba” to refer to God.  Not being a word regularly used in English it doesn’t have the same gender or parent connotations for me that “Father” does, but it has that wonderful intimate mumbly sound that small children use for their parents when they are tired or needy, like “mama”.

I want to be able to turn to God just like a child that needs comforting, or is excited about a recent accomplishment, or wants to cuddle.  Adults without children, particularly single ones, don’t have enough cuddling in their lives.  Wouldn’t it be great to climb up in God’s lap and be embraced, told that everything was going to be alright, and that you were loved?  That is one of the reasons God gives us prayer.  Children don’t need words to be comforted, they only need our presence.  God wants us to come to God in the same way.  God created people for God’s pleasure.  God delights in us and is proud of us.  Let God show it.  Climb in God’s lap and talk.  Then be silent & feel the love.  Abba is ready for you, no matter what kind of day you have had.

~ Pastor Jennifer