Thursday, February 23, 2012

Our Desperate Need for the Father

The New York Times recently ran an astonishing story with the headline "For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside Marriage."

As it happens, this week I'm called upon to preach Matthew 6:9-15, Jesus' gift of prayer to the church. During my preparation, I ran into this quote from Dale Bruner in his terrific commentary where he says this about Matthew 6:9b and the words "Our Father"
The modern "Our Parent" or the politically correct "Our Father and Mother God" will not do. The first reason for keeping "Our Father" is simply Jesus' command, "Pray like this: Our Father." But another reason is the desperate need in modern culture for the return of the father. In a book that stirred Europe, A. Mitscherlich's Auf dem Weg zur vaterlosen Gesellschaft (1982) ("On the Way to the Fatherless Society"), a world is described in which fathers appear in children's life only late at night as ghost figures or in "progressive" American entertainment as mainly parodies (Gnilka, 1:231). And for those who have even more lamentably experienced their fathers as unspeakable horrors, it can be argued that the remedy for a bad father is not the still greater removal of any father figure at all; it is the gift of a finally good Father. The Lord's Prayer gives this gift.
...the desperate need in modern culture for the return of the father. Indeed. The epidemic of producing fatherless children will prove to be a disaster, unless the Holy Spirit grants to us a true revival that, in turn, produces a renewed love for God and His precious and holy Word.
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (Matthew 6:9b-13).

1 comment:

  1. Ooh! Looking forward to the sermon now!

    Lord, grant your servant Chris eyes to see the beautiful truth in this text. Make him "get it" to the degree that the words he speaks are Your Word. And prepare the hearts of us, his hearers, to receive Your Word, to take it in and treasure it, and to obey. Give Chris the time and space he needs to write the sermon. Amen!