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Credo 3 - ... the Father ...

Thursday, April 19, 2007
There are three senses in which God may be said to be 'Father', each one revealing a deeper reality of the life of God. The first references we find of God as Father in Scripture come in the Pentateuch at the beginning of the Old Testament. Here we find references to God as Father, where 'Father' seems to convey a sense that God is the origin of all creation, without whom nothing can have existence. In the book of Deuteronomy we read how Moses saw the Father's act of creation as an act which sets up a relationship between God and creation (Deut 32:6-9). The second sense in which God is father, is an extension of the first, and is revealed to Moses in the giving of the Law. The special bond between the Father and the people of Israel is thus revealed by the covenant which God has with his people, a people considered by God as his 'first born Son' (Ex 4:22). Thus we have a deeper sense of God's love, and learn something of God as a God who calls his people into communion with him.

However, it is Christ that we find the third, most profound, and perhaps most surprising revelation of God as Father. In the Gospels, perhaps especially in the Gospel of John, we see how often Jesus refers to God as Father: He prays to the Father, and he gives us the Prayer which expresses all that prayer should be: the 'Our Father'. Thus it is clear that God's Fatherhood is key to what is revealed by Jesus. So what Kind of Fatherhood is this? From what is revealed by Jesus of the Father, we may see that 'Father' expresses a relationship, a love shared between the Father and the Son. But, astonishingly, as sons of God through Christ, we too are brought into this relationship - we too are called to intimacy with the Father. It is through this intimacy that we are drawn into prayer to the Father, a prayer which dares to call him 'abba', yet a prayer which stands in awe of whom it is we address - the Creator of all that is, the God who spoke to Moses and to Abraham, the God who sent his Son to die for us, that we might have life in him.

see the previous posts on the creed


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