A Beautiful Epiphany of Abba
I must confess this realization brought me to tears this afternoon.
So, meditating on the real meaning of the Greek word "matanoia" (often (mis)translated into English as "repentance") which actually means "to change one's mind"... I've come to a stunning peace about something I've seen people of faith struggle with my entire life - including myself, at times. I can say with deep certainty that "Accepting Jesus" is actually just "accepting" that God "accepts" us. In fact, He doesn't just "accept" us, He created us. On purpose. Out of love.
Having worked in the divorce & remarriage & co-parenting counseling sphere for decades, I guess something finally clicked. I was focusing on the meaning of the actual word itself, juxtaposed against the lackluster (at best) or manipulative (at worst) blatant mistranslation. If any person today had twisted the meaning of a parent’s words sent to a child in such a diabolical, convoluted way, they'd stand rightfully accused of criminal Parental Alienation. Look it up.
"The Divine Exchange", as many refer to it, actually levels out to be an exchange of boundless grace and love in exchange for bean-counting, sin & death focused legalistic futility. That's 100% Biblical. I'll debate anyone, anytime on that point.
In the Old Testament, God had many names He called Himself, and many names the People ascribed to Him. Here are a few examples:
El Shaddai (Lord God Almighty)
El Elyon (The Most High God)
Adonai (Lord, Master)
Yahweh (Lord, Jehovah)
Jehovah Nissi (The Lord My Banner)
Jehovah Raah (The Lord My Shepherd)
Jehovah Rapha (The Lord That Heals)
Jehovah Shammah (The Lord Is There)
Jehovah Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness)
Jehovah Mekoddishkem (The Lord Who Sanctifies You)
El Olam (The Everlasting God)
Jehovah Jireh (The Lord Will Provide)
Jehovah Shalom (The Lord Is Peace)
Jehovah Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts)
But, there was only ONE name Jesus brought to us:
Not "Father", not "Gray-Bearded Dude in the Clouds"... but DADDY.
To this day, you can go to any given park in Jerusalem and sit quietly and listen to the children playing, and eventually you will hear it... a child who needs a hug, a child who has skinned their knee, a child who that just wants to share this cool insect they found, a child who wants to show off to their Daddy that they can make it all the way across the monkey bars all on their own.
And when a child falls down on their diaper when trying to walk or run, you hear "Abba!" In rushes Daddy to pick them back up, dust off their hiney, and help them to stand again.
THAT's the Message.
THAT's the Gospel.
THAT's the "Good News"...
"Daddy's right here, sweetheart! You're doing great - keep going! I love you!"
““Mystery is not something that you cannot understand, but it is something that is endlessly understandable! It is multilayered and pregnant with meaning and never totally admits to closure or resolution.”
— Fr. Richard Rohr