Saturday, January 14, 2006

Galatians 4:6 – Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." (NIV)

When I was growing up, one of the biggest pop groups was the Swedish band "Abba". I can remember watching them for the very first time on television. They were participating in the annual Eurovision Song Contest, an international competition in which singers and groups from every country in Europe performed live and were judged on their presentation, song, and lyrics. One might say it was a European "Battle of the Bands". It was a very popular contest, taking place on a Saturday night during April, beamed live to television sets all over Europe, for about five hours.

Well, Abba won the contest by singing a song called "Waterloo". For the next decade, they became one of the most successful pop groups in the world. Whenever I hear one of their songs on the radio today during a golden oldies moment, I find myself singing the lyrics and enjoying their music all over again.

So, for most of my teenage years, Abba was just a musical group to me, but when I became a Christian, the word was transformed into something amazing, comforting, and everlasting. It was an old preacher who taught me to redefine the word "Abba" as meaning "Daddy". Before this, I had always thought that God was remote, distant, and untouchable. When I heard what "Abba" meant and started to learn a new song called "Abba, Father", my whole relationship with God changed. I no longer imprinted God with my personal feelings about my own father's stoicism. I began to see God through Christ's eyes — as a loving, caring, protective, and generous Father — a true Abba who was and still is interested in all of His children.

I don't know what your relationship to God is, right at this moment in time, but I would encourage us to seek the Abba that Jesus reveals to us. In the midst of any troubles, worries, anxieties, or fears that we are experiencing, let us allow Christ's Abba to embrace and guide us, to encourage and love us, to support and care for us.

Prayer: Abba, Father, thank You for personally revealing Yourself to us through Jesus Christ, Your holy Son. Thank You for the divine breakthrough which occurred when He taught us how to pray to You, and what to call You. Thank You for being our Abba, for loving us when we are lonely, for embracing us when we are anxious, and for healing us when we are hurt. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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