Friday, February 8, 2008

Abi's Lent: Day Three

One of the things about the growing length and depth of my purple life is that I have come to depend upon God to help me do whatever it is that I am to accomplish. I am less and less inclined to make plans beyond the essentials of the day. I find that as I lean upon him more and more, I manage to find just the right things at just the right times. I don't think it is a coincidence ... I think it is an incredible mercy, because I am just, well, broken.

And so I come to chapter two in The Jesus Creed -- where Scot talks about how Jesus gives us an amazing gift in The Lord's Prayer. There could have been no better preparation for me for this chapter than reading The Shack. None.

I was struck by the raw challenge of forgiveness...and you will have to read The Shack to understand how hard I was struck. I don't have a big problem with forgiveness ... just the same little problem of constantly needing to forgive and be forgiven. Is this another of those things that we have become numb to because we talk so much about it but rarely see it done well?

The other thing that struck me -- and chapter three talks about it, so I'll save some for then -- was referring to God as Abba. (The Greek word in The Lord's Prayer is not Abba, but I'll see what Scot has to say about that tomorrow.) By the time I finished reading The Shack, I was almost comfortable calling God Papa ... almost.

Why are we so stuck with ideas of God as harsh, stern, reprimanding disciplinarian? Why does is seem to so many that Our Father cannot be our Papa without being considered too ...uh... familiar or disrespectful?

It seems to me that this is what keeps us from embracing the intimacy that Jesus intends us to move toward when he uses Abba. Our Abba intimately knows us, and yearns for us to know him as well. He wants us to trust that we are never alone. NEVER. That Father-Son-Spirit are always with us ... looking for opportunities to bring us into their conversation -- the perichoretic dance of loving service and humble submission and unity of heart and purpose.

Love of God by following Jesus and loving others ... opens us to loving as Jesus loves and knowing God as Jesus knows God. And that means that we must embrace God as our Papa. And that we must see the names by which we know him as hallowed. We may not pick and choose -- not if we are following Jesus.

I'm following Jesus -- and that means we're going with Papa.

4 comments:

sonja said...

Amen.

The word Pappa didn't bring me up short, until Mack started using it on a black woman ... then my brain started blowing up, because the cross-gendering was too much. I didn't have a problem with Pappa. And God personified as a black woman wasn't an enormous stretch ... although I did have to put the book down for a few minutes to think about it ... but calling her Pappa? I had to really stretch on that one.

annette said...

it didn't strike me, though i think it's been gnawing at me,(in the book-Shack), until this post talking forgiveness and then submission and unity-- that i really was challenged that God offers us communion with Him, freedom in Him, fellowship and joy in Him even BEFORE all the stuff is delt with. and He never seemed impatient or in a hurry to fix stuff. woah - i want all that stuff fixed in me, right now, before i enjoy God's benefits.

preacherman said...

Peggy,
I want to thank you for praying for me. I want to the Nuerologist again on Thursday. He gave me botox to numb the migraine. Reduced some medications that I was on that was causing rebound migraines and memory loss. I am gradually tapering off the meds that I need to function in a normal way. I will know the results of the EEG first of next week. It means so much that you would take the time to pray. I believe in the power of prayer. God is so good and does take care of his children. Thank you so much peggy. I will be reading your blog often. You have been an encouragement to me this week and works can't tell you how much it means.
I pray that God will bless your ministry.
In Him,
Kinney Mabry

AbiSomeone said...

Sonja,

LOL! Do you know that the whole book I was seeing and hearing Papa/the black woman as The Oracle from The Matrix--I kid you not!

Annette,

It is amazing, yes, that even before anything is fixed in our lives, God has forgiven us and is yearning for restoration. This is the key lesson for us--that we both allow God to love us when we are being "ugly" and that we love others in the same way. Very powerful pondering, indeed!

Preacherman,

How pleased I am to hear of your good progress. Thank you for stopping by to update me on your situation.

I don't know if you've read The Shack yet, but I want you to know that God says he's especially fond of you. Keep on trusting in his love and all will be well, whatever the circumstances. :^)

Blessings, all!