By Tom Maly
Throughout the history of humankind, “god” or “gods,” including the God of the Old Testament, were seen as entities to be feared as they were harsh, judgmental, and punitive.
As we are all aware, there have been numerous occasions where humans were sacrificed to appease those gods.
One of the aspects of the incarnation of Christ, the Son of God, is that God can now be seen and known as a human. His entire life was a witness to and exemplification of the true nature of the God who created us and all of the universe. He was as “real” as any other human who lived at that or any other time. In short, God became imminent, became knowable in an entirely new way.
Paul captures that reality in the reading today from Galatians.
The word Abba, is said to mean “papa” or “daddy,” each of those being very familiar, intimate forms of address. You will recall that Jews were not to utter or write the name of “God” as it was considered that humans were unworthy to utter that name or that it was somehow disrespectful. Paul is saying that as adopted daughters and sons, we are invited to be comfortable with a daddy who loves us with an unconditional love, a love beyond any we can imagine as human beings – God is our “daddy”.
In a word, Jesus changed it all. It is an awesome gift we have been given –praise God!
[Thanks to guest contributor, Deacon Tom Maly, for sharing this reflection.]