Derek Webb’s new instrumental worship album, “Feedback,” is available everywhere this week, and he sat down to give us some insight about the first track. As you may have heard, the album is based around “The Lord’s Prayer” and features a track for each line. Scroll down to see what he had to say about line 1, “Our Father In Heaven,” and download the song for free. You can also go here to learn more about the concept behind the album, and how it came about.
“OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN”
by Derek Webb
The Lord’s Prayer is misunderstood. It’s mystical. But – it’s also foundational and informative. Ultimately – it’s our “feedback” to God. If you include “Amen”, there are nine lines of The Lord’s Prayer. The first line – “Our Father In Heaven” – starts the prayer out with a real bang. You imagine people in the first century hearing this instruction to approach God as “Father.” None of the prophets EVER had talked about addressing God as “Father.” Remember, this is the God who – if you gave the wrong offering or sacrifice – could strike you dead. To address God as “Father” was a revolution in and of itself.
Every word in this first line of the prayer is important. First, we now see God as OUR Father. It’s not personal – meaning, it’s not just me in my closet by myself where it’s private and just a thing between God and me. It’s OUR Father – actually, it’s ALWAYS our Father – so, it’s something that we all do TOGETHER.
Again, for the first century Jews, to address God as “Father” – to address Him so personally – was a mind-blowing concept. The fact that He’s our Father implies an intimate relationship.
Yet, our Father is in Heaven – which is this other world that we don’t know much about – we don’t even know where this world is. So, this line is the imminent and transcendent. It’s corporate, personal, and it’s other worldly – ALL in this paradoxical opening line. This line serves to immediately orient us in terms of to whom we are Speaking – our Father.