In the midst of widespread rejection of his message, Jesus prays to his Father:
I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth (Matthew 11).
Jesus calls his Father Abba.
Jewish names for God included, Lord, King, Shepherd, Rock, Fortress, Father.
Our good friend George T. Montague alerts us to something most important:
The Talmud says that when a baby first begins to speak, his first words are Amma and Abba, both titles of intimacy by which he addresses his ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy.’
The first person, therefore, whom Jesus addressed as Abba was not God but Joseph.
In the mysterious development of his human religious consciousness, when Jesus came to the moment of choosing his name for God, the title was none other than the one he had first given to his foster father, Joseph (Companion God, 95).
Jesus does not deviate: In the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14), he prays to Abba.
Paul does not deviate: Contemplate Galatians 6 and Romans 8.
We must resist the urge of sexually inclusive language – naming God with humanly constructed names.
God is Abba.
We are children, profoundly intimate with Abba Father.
We seize the moment.
Now. Always. Unto eternity.