November 14 - LD 46, Day 3: Our Father - in
by Rev. G. Van Baren
Read: I Kings 8:22-30
The danger of addressing God as "Father" is that one might be inclined to visualize God perhaps in the form of a man. The Catechism reminds us that our Father "is in heaven." That immediately directs our attention that there is to be no god of our own imagination. Artists have frequently portrayed God as a very old man with flowing white beard and long white hair. We ourselves can easily form a mental image of our Father. Therefore Christ taught us to state the fact that He is "in heaven."
We even try to visualize heaven. Yet none can see heaven while on this earth. It is a realm different from anything that we now see. It is that place where God is pleased to reveal His glory, wisdom and might. There, our Father gathers His people who have been purified through the sacrifice Christ made to remove the guilt of their sins. There, we enjoy glorious and everlasting fellowship with God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Our Father, the Triune God, reveals Himself in His Son who has united Himself to human flesh. We shall see Him in heaven. He reveals to us the Triune God, our Father. Jesus also reminded us that God is Spirit (not of some created substance) and those who worship Him, do so in spirit and truth.
He is infinite - bound neither by time nor space which are created by Him. All of this we confess in our prayers - our Father is infinitely far beyond us. Our Father is in heaven - not as one of many gods, but the One true God.
There is another glorious truth that this address teaches us. Our Father has almighty power, and He can provide all things necessary for our body and soul. Earthly fathers would likely be ready to give up their lives to protect and deliver their children from terrible dangers. But they are limited in their ability to provide their children with everything that they need.
However, our heavenly Father is both able and willing to give all that His children need. He can and does give them their “daily bread." through Christ, forgiveness of sin and life everlasting. Our Father does not always give us what we think we need or what we might desire. But He does hear and answer our prayers. He never fails to give us what we need. Therefore, the Christian is contented in whatever God gives.
Finally, in heaven we shall know and understand that whatever He provided us on this earth was exactly what we needed to prepare ourselves for our place there.