Our Father… I don’t want to do this.
Some idiot is going to complain that it should be father-mother, like it has anything to do with gender! Father is generic Biblical, to be sure, but it is role and relationship. It has nothing to do with gender. Sheesh!
No, it is not father-mother. It is “Our Father,” and most biblical images for God are also deliberately father, not mother, even to the point where the Bible at times says “He” and “Him,” though it makes some people mad.
If you can’t relate to God as Father because you are a woman or whatever, that is your problem. It is not God’s problem or the Bible’s or the translators, or the “Patriarchic culture” in which the scriptures were written, or anything other than you.
The thing is, get off the gender hang-up.
There are maternal images for God in the Bible. There are even more images of God as Shepherd. Does that mean God thinks of us as no better than sheep? No, of course not. The Shepherd and sheep, like the potter and clay, like the maternal images, like the word “father” is indicative of role and relationship. Period.
“Our Father” indicates the “head of the household,” another Biblical image much scorned and derided these days. I said, I don’t want to do this….
“Our Father” indicates God has a parental relationship with us all – that is all of us who belong to God in Jesus Christ. It is a familial image. God is over us to direct, guide and teach us as any parent does their children. To set boundaries for us. To provide. And, well, you can spend hours meditating on these two words alone.
This is where prayer begins. To acknowledge the relationship, God’s role in that relationship and that the relationship is not just one for me, but for us all.
Our Father… Think about it.