It’s impossible to overestimate the influence our fathers have had on our view of life and ultimately of God. Even given all the variations in families and fluid parenting roles today, fathers tend to be less present to small children than mothers and more the disciplinarian, so we learn how the world works primarily from our fathers in terms of the judging of performance and consequences of non-approval. And as our churches have reinforced the traditional role of the father theologically, transferring lessons learned from bio fathers to Father in heaven, we see love and approval as scarce and contingent commodities, making trust in God difficult. But Jesus is painting a very different picture. When we look at his stories and teachings, when we look at the Aramaic words he used in the first lines of the Lord’s Prayer, when we consider how he lived his own relationships, we see an exuberant extravagance, an overwhelming abundance always flowing from Father that can’t be stopped or slowed in any way. Just as a desert dweller living in a culture built around the scarcity of water can’t conceive of living where water falls from the sky, Jesus is trying to show us that the perceived scarcity of love and acceptance on which our lives are built can change in an instant once we experience a love that literally falls from the sky.
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