Thursday, 3 September 2015

The Forgotten Father

"Now when all the people were baptised, and when Jesus also had been baptised and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and voice came from heaven, 'You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.'"
Luke 3:21-22
All of us are the son or daughter of some father but very few of us have ever heard words from our fathers like Jesus hears here at his baptism.

This is a problem.

Jesus' coming and revealing God to us is the crowning moment of human history. It is the moment the Earth had been waiting for, the moment that creation up until that point had been holding its breath in anticipation of. At that moment, when the Son of God walked upon the Earth we saw more clearly than any previous generation had ever done that God the creator, ruler, author and sustainer was originally and eternally, Father.

According to Doug Wilson (no relation to Andrew I'm afraid) 'The Father is the forgotten member of the Trinity.' We talk about having a 'personal relationship' with Jesus and are familiar with being filled with the Holy Spirit but whoever heard an altar call to come and 'know the Father'?

There's a lot we're missing out on in our Christian lives if we don't learn to love and appreciate God as Father; and depending on our experience of Fathers that may be a difficult and unappealing idea in the first place. Having said that, all of us have a father hunger within us. All of us have an immaterial invisible ache that longs to be fathered, but not by just any father - we long for the true Father.

For the next 5 weeks we want to invite you to join us on a journey of discovery. I want us together to explore through the pages of John's gospel exactly what God the Father is like. I want those of us who are Christians to discover just how good and affirming our Father is and I want those of us who aren't Christians to learn what the person of God is like. I want us to hear those words the Father spoke over Jesus; spoken over us as well.

To draw out the richness of John's gospel and to help us become transformed by it, each day we'll publish a scripture for you to read, a verse to focus on and some observations to go along with it. We'll use the method of Bible reading I've always found helpful, explained by the acronym S.O.A.P.

S - scripture
O - observation
A - application
P - prayer

I'd like to encourage you to read the text for yourself, jot down your own observations and applications, and then read our blogs or watch our videos to hopefully get a little more out of it for yourself.

The daily readings and verses for the first week are:

Day 1: John 1:1-17
Day 2: John 1:17-24
Day 3: John 2:13-25
Day 4: John 3:31-35
Day 5: John 5:1-17

We're praying that all of us discover God the Father as he actually is: generous, loving, life-giving and good. I'm hoping that we'll find our father hunger satisfied, maybe for the first time, not by a counterfeit god or an imitation father but but by the true and living eternal God.

Here goes.

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