This is part 2 of reflections on the Apostles Creed. See Part 1 here.
It is not enough to claim belief in the existence of God. Such a claim will naturally hold a belief in the nature of God as well. That brings the next three words, "The Father Almighty."
The idea suggests both a relationship and an ability. The concept of God as father is a difficult one these days. There are attempts to side-step this with notions of friend, lover, brother, and even mother. While there may be elements of truth in each, the fact remains that biblically, and historically, God has first been known as Father.
This is difficult for many because in our modern times we have a desperate lack of fatherhood. Abandonment, abuse, and all manner of dissapointment may be wrapped up in our definition of the word Father. As a pastor, I would frequently see people bristle at the notion that God was their Father.
Now it could be that in ancient times, calling God, "father" was merely a means of saying that He was the creator, the first cause. I think, however, that there is something in the relationship aspect. And this something is magnified when we get the next word: Almighty.
Jeremiah considered this in this passage:
"Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord." Jeremiah 23:23-24 ESV
God is near, present. He is present even in the most secret places. He fills both heaven and earth, thus no place exists that He is not there.
Such power, knowledge, and presence allows us to bring any dissapointment with earthly fathers to the Fatherhood of God. For God is able to know us more intimately than any person possibly can. No one may know our thoughts, no matter how much they desire or even how much we desire it of them. They cannot know what goes on in the most secret or places, our thought-life. Yet God is there. God is there, and he still desires to call us his own.
The great songwriter, Bill Mallonee spoke of this in his song, Every Father Knows. When I hear this song, I'm reminded of all the places I wander and how far away from God I may think I am, and yet He is always there and still calling me His.
Author, Parent, Husband, Christ-follower