A couple of weeks ago, Brennan Manning stepped off the planet and into the capable and loving hands of his Abba. If you have no idea who Brennan Manning is or think he's in the hands of a celestial disco band from Sweden, then let me take just a moment to explain.
First, Abba. Not ABBA. Abba was the name that Brennan most called God. It's a Semitic expression that renders into English as something like, "Daddy," "Papa," (think Poppa, not Pawpaw) or Popeye's "Pappy." It's colloquial and ever-so-slightly informal, still carrying a sense of reverence but with familiarity. It's relational to the core but not titular in the least.
And it's perfectly biblical.
The Spirit of Jesus is in us crying, "Abba!" (Gal. 4). The Spirit of adoption, knowing we are in the family, prompts us to cry, "Abba!" (Rom. 8). Jesus Himself faced the Garden of Gethsemane with Abba on His lips (Mark 14). Familiar. Relational. Reverent.
Second, Brennan Manning. I've written about him and his memoir before here. I'll tell you I'm grateful for him and his ministry, particularly his authorship. I know more of grace because of that guy. May that be said of me one day too.
Perfect? Hardly. Broken? Certainly. Irresponsible? Probably. Used? Definitely.
May that be true of all of us.
But that's just me thinking thoughts...