North America, Europe, and Africa. Three continents in as many days. Belmopan, Belize to London, England to Sun City, South Africa. As the plane lands in Johannesburg, framed by the golden-orange flame of a new day, my body is wracked with pain, but my heart is filled with gratitude for Abba, Father.
I hand my passport to the agent, who kindly asks me to lower my mask as he examines my documents. “Welcome, Mama!” the warmth of his greeting takes me by surprise. Our journey is far from over, and I’ve already received an experience of a lifetime. Mama. I’ve carried that title for many years, but today I was reminded of its significance.
In some cultures, Mama is an honorific, a title conveying esteem, courtesy, or respect when addressing or referring to a person. When we lived in Russia I met five female university students from various African countries. They came over for dinner once a month to pour out their hearts and soothe their homesickness. They called me Mama Lida. The greeting this morning took me back to the sacred intimacy of those gatherings.
And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”Galatians 4:6 NLT
The Spirit of His Son dwells in our hearts compelling us to call out to Him with this term of esteem and respect for our God. Abba, Father. We speak this name with reverence for His role in our lives. Abba, Father. We call out to Him knowing that He hears us. Abba, Father! He has set us free from the bondage of sin and adopted us as full-fledged children with a legitimate claim as a joint heir with Christ.
Abba is a vocative paired with the word Father. It is used three times in Scripture, and in this passage, it directly points to the noun, Father, to draw the intention of our hearts to Him. May we make the most of each opportunity to set our focus on our Father, giving Him a greeting each morning that will warm His heart and bring great honor to Him.
Esteem and reverence. How have you spoken His name today? What would you like to change about the way you talk to God?
Abba, Father! We call out Your name to honor You with our voices. May our hearts and tongues esteem You in lives. May we find time each day to revere and glorify You. And in all we say and do may You be lifted high! In Jesus’ name. Amen.