Thous My Great Father

By Not Known

One of the warmest images for God is that he is a father. Not just any father, but
the father of whom all earthly fathers are imperfect shadows. Indeed, the high
point in the Lord’s Prayer is when we address God as Our father who is in

He is our father is the sense of being the source of our life, the one who
surrounds us with only good gifts and who disciplines us from and in love (Isa
64:8; Mt 7: 11; Heb 12:7-11
). His love and provision is a reason for our sense of
security, joy and gratitude.

Two further aspects of God’s fatherhood accentuate this.

Firstly, he is the father who welcomes the prodigal son home again and again
(Luk 15:22f). Many parents know the pain of an errant child who has rejected our
love and squandered life’s opportunities. It is easy to become callous or even
hostile to such a child – protecting our feelings by denying our love. God not only
receives the prodigal home, but welcomes him with overflowing generosity. This
father’s love persists and gives.

Secondly, he is the father who adopts. Jesus is the only ‘natural’ son who shares
God’s nature (Jn 1:14b; Col 2:9). But God chose to adopt us one by one as his
children in love and before the creation (Eph 1: 4-5). Through faith in Jesus and
his indwelling Spirit we become God’s adopted ‘sons’.

This brings two privileges. One is that we can address the maker and master of
the universe as Abba (Rom 8:15). This is equivalent to saying ‘daddy’ as opposed
to the more distant ‘father’. The other is that we become God’s heirs (Rom
). The fullness of his heavenly riches are ours by inheritance. These are
immense privileges. Their value is exceeded only, by the grace through which they
are given.

Let us remember that it is sonship with a cost. God’s father’s day was to give his
only begotten son so that we could be adopted into his family. There is a cost to
us too. We have to share in the suffering of Jesus our brother if we want to share
the inheritance with him (Rom 8: 17). We also have to accept our father’s
discipline as he moulds us into the shape of the natural son (Rom 8:29; Heb 12:7-

The hymn ‘Be Thou My Vision’ puts it so very well, when it says that God is our
great father. Let us indeed be his true children .