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June 2014

Abba, Daddy

Holy Trinity Sunday

From “Sitting on the Rainbow”

Artwork by Elsa Ingulsrud

Scripture Reference: John 3:16 and Rom. 8:15-17

Preparation: Bring a little bag of treasures or treats to hand out at the end of your message, or you may have the gifts in your pockets.

Imagine that you are visiting at the home of a friend. Your friend’s father has been gone on a long trip, and the rest of the family is looking forward to his return. They tell you he’ll be coming home soon, and they can’t wait to see him again. He’s a wonderful father who loves his children very much. Whenever he returns from a trip, his pockets and suitcases are full of wonderful gifts for his children.

Suddenly the front door opens, and there he is. And, sure enough, his pockets are bulging with goodies. Your friend gives a happy shout. “Daddy! Daddy!” she yells and then launches herself in his direction. She lands right in his arms and gets a big bear hug. Her brothers and sisters pile on top of their daddy, too, and hugs and kisses are exchanged all around. Then you watch as he starts to pull from his pockets the marvelous treasures that he has brought home with him.

You are watching all of this from a distance. He’s not your daddy, so you’re not about to jump into his arms. And even though the pocket treasures look interesting, you are too polite to ask for something yourself. It’s an uncomfortable feeling to be left out of a family hug. At this point, you might feel like heading home so that this family can enjoy their time together.

Now imagine that the smiling father who has just returned from a long trip with his pockets full of treasures is not your friend’s father, and not even your own father, but your heavenly Father. What do you think you would do if your heavenly Father stepped through your front door? Would you hang back, too shy to say anything? Would you yell “Daddy” and jump into his arms? (Let children share their responses.)

Do you know what God would want you to do? The Bible tells us in Romans, chapter 8, that we should not be shy in front of God, but act like God’s own children. We are God’s family, and he even expects us to call him “Daddy!” (The word Abba in the original language of this verse is a word that means “Daddy” or “Papa.”)

We really are God’s children. We have every right to call our heavenly Father “Daddy” and to leap joyfully into his arms. And the Bible says that, as God’s children, we will share in all the riches of his kingdom. Our heavenly Daddy’s pockets are filled with love, everlasting life, comfort, peace, and riches that we can’t even imagine. (Before the children return to their seats, share with them some of the “riches” in your pockets.)

Prayer:  Thank you, God, for being our heavenly Daddy and for adopting us as your own children. Thank you that your arms are always open to us.


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