“To name God as Father in the Lord’s Prayer is to commit to having a healthy image of God. That is both a challenge and a grace. Such an image brings out the very best in us and helps us discover our truest identity. It coaxes us to be transparent, to lovingly open ourselves to every single moment that calls for self-sacrifice and self-forgetfulness,” (Albert Haase, in Living the Lord’s Prayer: The Way of the Disciple, p. 21).
Haase says naming God as Father orients us to having a healthy image of him. That commitment to seeing God as a good Father is a challenge for many who have never seen what a good father looks like. Jesus has to reveal the healthy image of God the Father.
We can also experience the grace of commiting to having a healthy image of God. What a blessing to call God our Father, and to know that he will always bring out of us what is right, and good, and true.
God invites us to know him fully, even as we are fully known. The prophet Jeremiah said long ago that this was God’s longing: “I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart” (Jer. 24:7, NIV).
Now, through Jesus, we have much to look forward to as we move closer and closer to God. Paul writes in 1 Cor. 13:12, “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
Jesus even gave us a beautiful picture of the love of our Father in the parable of the lost son in Luke 15:11-32, telling us we have a Father who is watching for us, and waiting to run to us and embrace us, if we will take a step toward him—a step toward home.