Wednesday, Dec. 28    Read Galatians 4:4-7

from John Crist, Pittsburgh, PA:

The Lord’s Prayer begins with the address: “Our Father.”  For those of us raised in Christian families, we learn of this introduction at an early age.  Addressing God as Father comes to us through the teachings of Jesus.  To those around Jesus who first heard of this introduction, it was shocking.  It implies an intimacy between the one praying and God.

 

The Apostle Paul elaborates on the importance of this introduction.  To those in the Galatian churches raised on the premise that one was initially treated as a slave and not fully a family member until their father, “at the appointed time,” deemed them mature enough to be accepted as a son, this was shocking indeed.  Rather, says Paul, through Christ we are brought into the family of God by our faith.  To be “a child of God” was also to be “an heir.”  In addition, as heirs, we then share with Christ in his glory.

 

This spiritual move from slave to heir was difficult for the Galatians to grasp.  How could this be?  They never heard of such a thing.  I wonder if the radical nature of this claim is the opposite of our situation: Once experiencing loving and nurturing families, and therefore accepted as heirs, do we take these words, “Our Father,” for granted?

 

Help me to know you, O God, as the one who has given yourself so that I might be known as your child and heir, through Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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