But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying 'Abba! Father'. So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.
(Church in Wales lectionary, from New Revised Standard version).
What did you call your father? Was it Dad, Daddy, Da, or Papa? Or something else? I called my parents by their Christian names - Olive and Bob - largely because my mother disliked the name "Mum" which was a deodorant then, and because as she said "I'm a Christian and I want people to use my Christian name!" So we children called my father, "Bob".
In his letter to the Galatians St Paul says we are God's children, and he uses the word "Abba" for God. This seems to show that we have an intimate relationship with God, and can call him by a name that we would use for an earthly parent. We are not a slave who would call him "Master", we have been adopted as children. Under Roman law an adopted child would in due course inherit all that a natural child would inherit. God is our Heavenly Father, and he deserves all the love and trust that we might give to an earthly father.
How might this thought change our relationship with God in this new year?
we call you 'Abba'.
You have taught us that
we are Your children,
and that You care for us
as a good father cares
for his children.
May we look afresh
at our relationship with You,
in this new year,
and grow ever more
into the person You want us to be?
For a fairly in depth discussion on God and whether we should think of Him as "Dad", you might like to explore the following site: