Monday, February 8, 2010

Our Father

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Life: Connected
Our Father
Speaker – Crispin Schroeder
I. Intro – Matthew 6:5-14
II. Views of the divine
A. Jewish – The Jewish understanding was that God was holy, righteous, and just but also distant.
B. Roman/Greek – The Romans and Greeks understood there to be numerous gods that needed to be placated to gain favor, but there was no sense of being in any kind of meaningful relationship with the gods.
C. Jesus – The revolutionary understanding of God as father (abba father, implying relationship and affection).
D. Paul – expands on the relationship with our heavenly Father in Romans 8:15-17 by using the term adoption or sonship to refer to our relationship with God.
III. Two Kinds of Lost - Luke 15:1-3,11-31(Parable of the Prodigal Son)
A. The Younger Brother – Self Discovery
B. The Older Brother – Moralism
IV. Conclusion - The Father’s Love

The companion spiritual exercise for this week can be found on the post prior to this one or at


  1. I think your command, poise, knowledge of and delivery on this subject was wonderful, Crispin. What a great message! Probably a message that should be repeated often for the broken and healed alike. So many of us do not have a “good” image of an earthly Father that it is understandable why we are reluctant to believe in a truly loving and caring God. We’re slow to “wade into the water” for fear of being hurt… again. Afraid of having our trust betrayed… again. Afraid of being condemned and/or not doing good enough… again. Is it any wonder why so many have erected fences around hardened hearts to the message of the Gospel? Wow. While I have often thought about the loving relationship that the word “abba” conveys between a child and his/her father, it truly is profound that Jesus opened “the Lord’s Prayer,” the prayer he used to teach his disciples (and us) how to pray, with that word to show us what kind of relationship the Father longs for and yearns to have with each and every one of us. To know…wait, to BELIEVE that the God of the universe, the Author of life and existence, actually loves and cares about and for us enough to let His only son die to reconcile us to Himself is more than profound. It’s absolutely mind boggling. Me. You. Us. He allowed that ultimate sacrifice because He first loved us, even before we were born! If that doesn’t blow one away, I don’t know what could! Let that sink in, all. Wrap yourselves in the wings of God’s love, as so beautifully illustrated in the parable of the Prodigal Son. How wonderful is that? How beautiful is that? Can you even fathom the depths of that kind of love? I didn’t. But I’m learning to. And loving it. And healing because of it, to the glory of Abba, MY/YOUR/OUR Father in heaven. You said it beautifully, Bro: it’s about restoration. A restored relationship between the loving God of existence and man through the sacrifice of Jesus, once and for all, for all eternity, for all mankind, for all who will believe. Amen. It just doesn’t get any more personal and loving than that. I’ll end with reminding you of how much I absolutely LOVE that Rembrandt painting of the Prodigal Son. So much so that I think I told you that we have a print of it framed and hanging in our home. The story line there extends across all nations and peoples, and when one embraces it, i.e., for those of us that have “been there and done that many times,” it is an awesome, awesome reminder of that even though we often wander and grieve Him, our Heavenly Father, our Abba, never gives up on us with His relentlessly pursuing love, and will patiently wait for our return. Great stuff, Bro. And thanks for including the music at the end. You know we all love that. Peace. TA

  2. When I listen to your sermons, I take notes, so I can comment on the portions that especially move me. As I looked at my notes I see two other things that came to mind that I did not comment on in my first response. The first is that in “the Lord’s Prayer,” the very first word is “Our,” as in “Our Father….” I just find that amazing. Jesus was teaching us all that his Father is OUR Father. Not some distant being that was disconnected from us. He genuinely wants to be OUR Father, to listen to OUR hearts, and to welcome us into genuine communion with Him. So amen to that! Secondly, when you talked about us praying, I just wanted to mention that for me, with practice, it has become more natural. In terms of communion/communication with God, prayer can manifest itself when we practice simply being aware of His presence all around us, every moment of every day, in every circumstance that He allows in our lives. I think that’s one way we accomplish “praying without ceasing.” And as you have said, it doesn’t have to be formal. What I love is that it doesn’t have to, and frankly, shouldn’t be, some flowery delivery (unless one is genuinely wired to talk that way). But rather, just a genuine outpouring of one’s fears and thankfulness and requests to OUR Abba, OUR Father, who listens, cares, and understands, and who will answer as we seek His perfect will for our lives, answering in His time and in His ways, which are certainly higher than our own. Want to know what’s still the hard part for me? Listening to God in silence! That is still difficult for me, if not awkward. Guess I just need to practice what I preach by putting that (dare I say?) discipline into more practice. Your comments would be appreciated regarding that. Thanks, Bro. TA

  3. Great point Tim about Jesus saying His Father is Our Father. I have also been thinking how Jesus' use of "Our" instead of "My" can also fight against our tendency towards thinking of relationship with God as only personal. While it is indeed personal we are in this with others. As for the listening to God part, that is tough. My message for this week is actually on that topic so maybe some discussions next week.

    Thanks for the input Tim.