The telos of calling God Abba
It comes to this then, after the grand theory of the apostle: The world exists for our education. It is the nursery of God’s children served by troubled slaves, troubled because the children are themselves slaves—children, but not good children. Beyond its own will or knowledge, the whole creation works for the development of the children of God into the sons of God.
When at last the children have arisen and gone to their Father, when they are clothed in the best robe with a ring on their hands and shoes on their feet, when they are shining out at length in their natural and predestined sonship, then shall the mountains and the hills break forth before them into singing. Then shall all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb, and the leopard lie down with the kid and the calf, and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. Then shall the fables of a golden age, which faith invented, and unbelief threw into the past, unfold their essential reality, and the tale of paradise prove itself a truth by becoming a fact.
Then shall every ideal reveal itself a necessity, all aspiration although satisfied put forth yet longer wings, and the hunger after righteousness know itself blessed, because truth is at last revealed in its fullness, not as the opinion of any man, but as the Truth that is in God himself.
George MacDonald, “Abba, Father!” Unspoken Sermons Series Two, in Your Life in Christ: The Nature of God and His Work in Human Hearts, edited by Michael Phillips.