15 August 2014

Galatians 4:4-7

“And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying ‘Abba! Father!’” (v. 6)


Today's passage tells us that through the sacrifice made by Christ, humanity's relationship with God has been redeemed. So much so, that not only can we be considered to be a part of God's household, we have in fact been adopted as God's very own children, true heirs to God's kingdom.

Our son Theo is 15 months old and he's taken his time about learning to talk. He now has a small collection of words, many of which sound the same, including "star" (darr), "duck" (du) and "stairs" (dare). But his first word was "dada" - and my husband Jim nearly passed out with joy. He's taking a bit more time getting to "mama".

I hope that as Theo grows we can help him to learn how to behave - how to live in society, treating himself and others with respect and generosity. In order to do this, we will undoubtedly have a few rules that we expect him to follow, covering things from what time we expect him to go to bed to how to behave at the dinner table.

I'm sure, too, that at times Theo will break these rules and test our patience to the limit. But our relationship with him is based entirely on the fact that he can call us 'mama' and 'dada', not on whether or not he is well-behaved. His disobedience might test our relationship, but he will always be our son. 

Thanks to Jesus, we are no longer slaves whose relationship with their master is governed by rules and requirements. Instead we can call ourselves children of God, under love and not the law. We can call God "Abba! Father!" - and nothing we can do will change that.

To Ponder

  • Some people find it difficult or uncomfortable to think of God as a parent. What is your experience?
  • How important do you think 'rules' are when it comes to our relationship with God? 

Bible notes author

Anna Drew

Anna Drew is Director of Communications for the Diocese of Canterbury. She is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4's Daily Service and Prayer for the Day and a freelance writer on faith issues.