On the road much this week - from Potomac Highlands to Midland South to Greenbrier to Western to
I mentioned the Prayer class that was part of our District Leadership Training event, and I talked about the greeting that is used in the Lord's prayer - Our Father, best translated as Abba.
Continue on in the prayer, and you find the next phrase is "hallowed be thy name." This refers back to the name that God gives Moses at the burning bush - I AM. I AM is the most revered name of God, considered so holy by the Jews that they would not speak it, and because the Hebrew written language didn't include vowels, we really don't know how it would have been pronounced, even if it had been. The best guess is Yahweh.
Consider the juxtaposition of those two ideas for a moment. Jesus addresses God as Daddy, and with the most holy, reverential name he can use. Together.
I think much of our faith is like that. Was Jesus human or divine? Yes. Is God a God of justice or mercy? Yes. Is our relationship with God intended to be one of close intimacy, or high reverence? Yes. God is best understood - not that we can understand God, but we get closer - when we say yes to opposites. Our faith is richer when we accept that we will not understand, and allow the idea of God in our mind to expand to include even those ideas which are in juxtaposition.
If anything, it will increase our gratitude toward God. We are invited to pray to the most holy God as if he (or she) were our father (mother). (See? Is God father or mother? Yes). Amazing.