“Abba! All things are possible for You.
Take this cup away from me!
Still, not what I want, but what you want.”
That Abba word is thrown around in songs from any number of Christian artists and we sing it with a holy hum in our throats and a quiet assurance that we have said something holy.
One of my dearest worship songs, by Shaun Groves, is sung in a gentle tempo on acoustic piano to the greatest effect,
You are Holy
And I surrender
Always sung with an emotional thrill… Always with a holy hush…
Then Israel happened…
The shrieking girl ran across the room, “Abba, Abba, brother did…” as she tattled her little heart out to the papa who just walked in the door.
A defiant little boy who, with tears on his face, marched unwillingly out the door wailing, “Abba!!” because he doesn’t want to go just yet.
In a pink parka, the curly headed girl, brown eyes upturned, takes the hand of a tall man in a dark suit and, as the train doors open, asks, “Abba? Is this the right stop?”
Everything about the word Abba changed.
Everything about what I thought I knew about the conversation in the Garden of Gethsemane changed.
See, you can’t call just anyone Abba nor do you call that title out lightly.
There’s a man who lives in Salem, Oregon and he’s the only one I’ve ever called Daddy. He’s the one I leaned on when I walked down the aisle toward the tall, dark handsome man who became Daddy to our sons.
Calling out Abba is a declaration of a child to a trusted parent, one who hears our outrage and frustration at the injustice of life, or leads us away from temptation, or who shows us where to go.
Yes, there is something intentionally holy about declaring Abba in prayer to the One who spoke life into Adam.
But, there is also the sweetly personal, familiar, and intimate crying out of a child’s heart to the broad shoulders and big heart of someone who is committed to do for us all those things that daddies do.
Our child’s heart softens as we realize that we can relate, tangibly, to our Savior who also called out Abba.
Everything changes when we recognize that Yeshua wasn’t having a God-sized Spiritual Moment.
He was talking to His Daddy.