Posted by: Terry | October 27, 2015

Where did The Father go?

What ever happened to God? It seems that much of Christendom is consumed with politics, sociology, or self-improvement. “Followers of Jesus” is replacing the centuries old label of Christian. Topical sermons encourage devotees to emulate Jesus, become more like him in relationship to current political concerns, social ills or evils, or improving a person’s life. But what happened to God?

Even a cursory reading of the Gospels makes it clear that priority number one for Jesus was to bring glory to God the Father. He taught that he, Jesus, was the promised one who came to make access to the Father a reality. His life and actions were demonstrations of the person of the Father. Jesus death and resurrection were for the purpose of removing the barriers between people and God the Father. Jesus wanted us to know his Father as he knew his Father.

If Jesus was obsessed with us knowing the Father why do we hear so little about the Father in contemporary Christianity? And does it matter?

Tozier wrote that a person’s view and understanding of God was paramount to right living and faith. We need to revisit Isaiah and the Psalms, meditate on the visions of heaven in Ezekiel and Revelation.

These last few weeks I have be pondering the opening lines of the Lord’s Prayer, “Our father who is in heaven, hallowed be your name.” What has impressed me is that unless we get this part right the rest of the prayer does not fall properly into place.

If our view of God the Father is distorted, too small, too rigid, too distant… then petitions about his kingdom, my daily provision, my relationships with others, my own failures and temptations will be in the wrong context.

I also find that discussions or debates, about theology, denominations, politics, social ills and evils, and self-improvement are less convicting than coming face-to-face with God.

For centuries the church has made the reading of the Psalms and Prophets a central part of worship, both public and private. Renewing that practice would only bring us closer to the one we are called to honor and pray to, Our Father.

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Responses

  1. I appreciate this post for many reasons, but mostly because I was feeling like I was one of the few who felt this way. At times Christianity has appeared like a Jesus cult, and that’s been disturbing and off-putting. For those of us whose belief in God drives their life but are not Christian in a contemporary sense, this post is addresses many concerns. I believe that first and foremost, Jesus had a deep love of his religion but with an understanding of and love for God that few humans ever reach. He was, truly, chosen by God to show us the life that God has created for us.
    Thanks much for this post, Terry.

  2. As always I appreciate your thoughts.

    Jesus made it clear that the reason he left heaven to come to earth was that it is impossible to have a relationship with the Father without Jesus. He made it clear that he was God, that he came for the purpose of becoming the propitiation for sin which makes it possible for those who accept that he is God, and put their trust in his death and resurrection for their own forgiveness, to become part of God’s family. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except by me.”

    So though God is the object of our worship, we can only give him that glory if we come by way of the Son. Jesus said that those that receive him, become the children of God.

    We worship God the Father, but it is our faith in Jesus the Messiah and Lord that brings forgiveness and fellowship.


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