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Is God ‘Our Father’ or ‘My Father’?

by litfeed
2 mins read

By George Kimando

This short story was sent to me three times this last week, and twice in WhatsApp groups to which am a member. You may have seen it too, but the lessons are profound, and that’s what I want to focus on.

The story thus goes.

A beggar came to my house asking for food. I told him to come around to the back door and asked him to sit on the floor while I went in to bring the leftover food.

I brought it to him and invited him for prayer over the food. Now repeat after me, I instructed, “Our FATHER in Heaven”. He said, “Your Father in Heaven”. I said, “No, say OUR FATHER in Heaven”. He again said, “Your Father in Heaven”

This got me extremely irritated. Why do you say ‘Your’ father when I say ‘Our’ FATHER, I asked him.

“Sir” he said, “if I say OUR FATHER, then we both become brothers. If we are brothers, you would invite me in through the front door and not the back; you would ask me to sit at your dining table not on the floor; you’d also not give me stale food. It’s not possible that we are sons of the same father.”

He may be your Father, but he can’t be OUR father, he concluded.

Whose FATHER is He then? I reflected.

The take away lesson was that, GOD becomes our FATHER when we treat one another as brothers and sisters, as equals in the Faith in the one true God and Father.

I was reminded of a couple of related discussions I have had in the recent past.

In one of the discussions, regarding a relatives group that has been dysfunctional for a while now and members are seeking revival, the question came up: what are we getting together to do? Have we been adding value to each other as members of a larger family? In essence, have we been family to each other?

We are yet to come around on the answer.

The other discussion concerned formation of family and community groups. What’s the purpose of you getting together?

The many reasons that we used to get together for – especially for purposes of social insurance and capital matters – have been overtaken by growth, events and technology.

Many families today have grown and can meet those obligations on their own: funerals, weddings, medical bills, educational funds, etc. Even where the groups exist in nuclear families and special purpose formations, members need only to converge in a WhatsApp group, appoint a treasurer, send their contributions, and deal with the matter at hand.

The point being made was that people need a sort of a higher calling to create groups and meeting points, and especially the purpose for them. Without the PURPOSE, the point is lost even before starting.

As in the story above, it’s in the simple acts of brotherhood that will define that higher calling to be children of the one true God and Father.

How am I a brother (including sister) to those I interact with? Who is even my brother?

Can I make a collective call to ‘Our Father’ and they respond in unison with me?

Have a truly brotherhood and family day, and a great week ahead.

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