The bulletin I got handed as I walked into church today told me this would be the sermon’s title. I started to anticipate a heartwarming message, one that I needed badly.

“Abba” is, of course, translated as “Father.” Yet in actuality, a better translation would be “Daddy” or “Papa.” Seems strange, doesn’t it? God Almighty, being called Daddy by us sinners? Well, it sure sounded strange to the Jews in Israel at the time. They thought it to be outrageous. Even to this day, they consider the name of God to be too great to be spoken outside Scripture. They will use “Holy One,” and other titles, but revere YHWH too much to speak it.

So when an Israelite, raised Jewish, starts speaking to God in such a comfortable fashion, we have to ask: What’s up? Something big must have happened for this turnaround. What was it?

But now in Christ Jesus you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. -Ephesians 2:13

. . . you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. . . -Romans 8:15b-16

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. -Romans 5:1

I love our church. Full of hurting people, the pastors know how to remind the congregation that we are all one family. And in a time when many of us can feel rejected by others, we so needed this morning’s message.

Brought near. Adoption as sons. Peace with God. I welcomed the reminder. May you welcome it too. You have a wonderful, loving God in heaven, to whom, by the Spirit, we cry, “Abba! Father!”

The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you all.