Jesus promises the Holy Spirit:
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.”
~John 14:16 (NRSV)
As Jesus prepared to go to the Father he mentions to the disciples one of the roles of the Father—to give us the Advocate: the Holy Spirit. As God breathed into the nostrils of Adam in Genesis 2:7 to supply physical life, God breathes into us the power of the Holy Spirit to supply spiritual life.
And as we think of the Father in context of Jesus’ final night conversations with the disciples, we can also begin to see the Father in context as our Father, just as Jesus modelled it for us in his Lord’s Prayer.
The Breathing Of Spiritual Life Into Us
If God the Father is our Father just as he was Jesus’ Father, by virtue of our possession of the Presence of the Holy Spirit, we can expect a similar relationship—though Christ is our Mediator. But in having been connected with the Father through Jesus, we have a Father.
And the Father is a father to the fatherless.
He breathes both physical and spiritual life into us, by the code of our genome and by our acceptance of salvation. For all valencies of life it has been the Father that has breathed these into us. He has impelled us to life.
These are especially beautiful truths for that flesh of our flesh who have only tasted distasteful father-figures. This heavenly portrait of paternity—the Father’s heart—to breathe life into us—and to show us life, abundant—is what makes all life worthwhile.
The Compensation Of Fatherhood
Some really do connect with this: God the Father has become father, for human paternity has failed many a child. All human fathers are intrinsically broken, and, whilst many have served their children well, there are perhaps just as many, or more, who have not been there or who have been neglectful or abusive.
All humanity connects with the importance of fatherhood.
And where familial fatherhood has failed, the Father Heart of God has endured. Where humanity fails, Divinity shines eternally. For those who have had no father-figure, God is the figure for pursuit.
The Father Heart of God breathes life into us, and is every reason that we live. Where human fathers have failed in our lives, God the Father succeeds, burning passionately for each of us. The Father’s love is an eternal flame.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.