“Father. Thank you….”
These words are important to me. I feel that these words are important for us all.
I’m becoming more and more convinced that the key to everything (quite a big claim I know) is being able to say “Father” as Jesus says Father. With the same love, intimacy and oneness as Jesus. To know beyond doubt that he is MY Father. And to know beyond doubt that I am his son.
Jesus brings us fully into this relationship. He says “My Father and your Father.” When he speaks about prayer, he again confirms our relationship by saying “Our Father” before anything else. Jesus desire is to reveal to us that his Father is also our Father. As we see him, he says that we see the Father.
We have to know that when we say “Father” that he hears us. Jesus knows this. He knows that when he speaks the name of his Father, his Father always hears him.
“Father, I am thanking you that you hear me. Yet I am aware that always you are hearing me…”
We cannot merely hope that he is hearing us. We must know that our Father is hearing us. We are not throwing random prayers into the ether in the hope that just maybe God will hear our sometimes garbled and confused words and answer. We don’t ask in hope. We ask in knowing. Knowing that our Father always hears us simply because when we say “Father,” it has the same ring to it, the same tone, the same awareness and intimacy of oneness with the Father that Jesus has. We know that Father is always tuned to those through whom the Spirit of his Son cries out “Abba (Greek)/A-Ba (Hebrew)! Father!” When he hears “Father,” he delights to reveal his Son in us afresh.
And this morning I was listening while walking. I had this sense that simply saying “Father” as Jesus does is true worship. Jesus says that the Father is seeking true worshippers, those who worship in spirit and in truth. I have experienced a simplicity of worship through saying “Father” recently. We know that the basis of the Greek word used is “to lean toward, to kiss.” An incredible expression of intimacy. I am finding that my greatest expression of intimacy is to be able to say “Father, thank you.” This is true worship. It is worship in spirit and in truth. To lean toward, to kiss; “Father. Thank you.” It is very simple. But it is incredibly profound.
It is not a formula. It is a revelation. Jesus desire is for each of us to know that what he says is true. It’s that thing of taking him at his word. “My Father and your Father.” We cannot formulate our way to the Father. We experience the Way himself, who reveals the Father and says “If you know me, you know my Father also.” He also says to us, “In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
Perhaps we feel a little like the disciples at times. Perhaps we say such things as Philip does, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” And perhaps Jesus has been revealing the Father to us for some time, yet we haven’t realised it.
But when we do, what a difference it makes for us. Everything changes. We can say “Father, thank you” as Jesus does. We know that our Father hears us.
Eat the Living Bread, drink the Living Water. “Father, thank you.”