Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a look at each phrase in the Lord’s Prayer, one at a time. This week’s phrase is, “Our Father, who art in heaven.”
15 God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, 16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen. – I Timothy 6:15-16
“Father.” God deeply desires to be so much more than just somewhere, out there. When Jesus was teaching his disciples how to pray, he could have told them to call him anything he wanted. He didn’t say, “Call me, ‘Dictator.’ or, ‘Boss.'” He doesn’t even want to be called, “Judge.” Even though he could have picked any of those names …he wants us to call him, “Father.” It’s a term of endearment. He wants us to run to him for protection, provision and love. He wants to be our everything, every time.
“Who art in heaven.” God lives in heaven. What’s that look like? Check out today’s verse…he lives in the place of unapproachable light. As the Father’s front door opens, it’s worse than trying to stare into the morning sun while driving east on the way to work. Squinting and wearing dark sunglasses won’t be enough when you’re in the home of God the Father.
“Our Father, who art in heaven.” Have three letters ever been more meaningful? God isn’t just a Father. He isn’t just their Father. He’s our Father. If we think that the world revolves around us and not God, we might think that we’re entitled to that. We imagine that we deserve it. We don’t. No sinner does. Don’t miss that praying to “Our Father, who art in heaven” is a special privilege given only to those whose sins are washed away in Jesus. How comforting that God, our Father, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who lives in unapproachable light isn’t just somewhere, out there.
Prayer (written by Martin Luther, about the words, “Our Father, who art in heaven”): It is your dear Son, Jesus, who gives us the right to speak to you as our Father. And it is your Spirit who has opened our lips to declare your praise. We trust your Word. It is clear and certain. So despite our own unworthiness and sin, we call on you now in the full confidence of faith. And, as your own dear children, place all our needs before you in this prayer. Help us hold this promise in our hearts forever, and fill us at all times with the joyful sense that we are your true children, and that you are our dear Father. Amen.