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Our Father

"Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father. To my God and your God.’"

John 20:17

I stared straight up, wondering if I should take the risk. I had no idea how to begin, or if it was worth the effort at all. I had tried this before, but under very different circumstances. In the past, there were rules, guidelines, tab-A-in-slot-B instructions. Now it was solo, no hymnal, no one waving a baton or saying “repeat after me.”

I opened my mouth and began.


I didn’t know what to say next—I figured something would come. Instead, Someone came. I can’t explain it, but it felt for a moment like all of heaven had postponed whatever was on the day’s agenda to listen to one incoming voice. God interrupted. The Father had heard my whispered call, and bent down to listen.

I knew nothing about the concept of a “prayer request,” so I was coming empty handed. Only a few hours had passed since I first believed, and had followed along in a prayer to commit my life to Jesus. Now it seemed like enough just to know that God Himself was my Father, and that He was listening. What more could I ask? I rolled over and fell asleep—maybe the most peaceful sleep of my sixteen-year-old life.

That day I asked for nothing more. It was enough to see a tiny glimpse of what is real around us every day. The reality of God’s determination to bring us into an intimate Father-child relationship with Himself was forever exposed when Jesus sacrificed His life on the cross for our sins and then rose from the dead to return to heaven.

But between those two events, He met Mary in the garden to make sure His disciples did not miss the eternal significance of what was taking place.

“Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father. To my God and your God.’”

Before this time the scripture spoke of the God of creation and the Father of a nation, but this was the moment that we were invited to address God as my Father and my God. The last time that God had walked in a garden it was to banish Adam and Eve from His presence and from His blessings. This time the curse was undone, the door reopened, and a new invitation announced.

Jesus sent Mary to the disciples with the essential message of the Gospel. The events they had just witnessed, and the resurrection He was making known, were for this purpose. “Tell them that my Father is now your Father, and my God is your God.”

This should have come as no surprise to the disciples if they had been paying attention at all. Three years earlier, when Jesus taught His disciples how to pray, His first two words revealed more about why He came, more about what He would finish on the cross, and more about the way God desired to relate to us than a mountain of books could have communicated.

“Our Father...”

February 18, 2005 | Permalink


Beautiful site, beautiful writing! I'm adding you to my blogmarks.


Posted by: Gnomon on Feb 18, 2005 2:24:09 PM

A beautiful post Doug. It only takes a whisper. He hears all.

Posted by: Candace Pfau on Feb 20, 2005 12:47:37 PM

That's good!!! God's presence is real and palpable at times.

Posted by: amber lynn on Feb 21, 2005 6:39:44 PM

Gnomon: Thanks for the encouragement!
Candace: If we only listened to Him as well as He listens to us!
Amber: And sometimes not, but that's what faith is for. I appreciated your post on Terri Schiavo. A friend of ours devoted herself to her husband who was in a coma for 4 years until he died naturally - she'll never regret giving him that time.

Posted by: Doug Raymond on Feb 22, 2005 9:15:16 PM

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