“You don’t know ‘Father Abraham’?!” is a question I have heard a few times in my almost 14 years of being a Christian. I always laugh, but I feel awkward when I am around people raised in the church and that song has made me feel like an outsider many times. I understand there are songs that could be labeled as “insider songs”, but these “insider songs” can cause some issues for those new to their walk or came into their walk 14 years ago as a teenager.
Anyway, this Father Abraham dilemma is something we Christians have to be aware of at all times. You might hear a preacher say something like “of course you have heard the story of Nehemiah” or “I don’t need to go into detail about the story of Jesus and the leper”, but someone new would just nod, smile with a look of “who wouldn’t know?”just to leave and never come back. It’s these statements that cause more damage than we may think.
I understand, thanks to a friend raised in the church, that some may not know that these statements cause damage nor do they do it intentionally. So to that I say, it’s ok, don’t worry, just be more aware of the words we use.
We need to be conscious of the fact not everyone knows the hand gestures to “lord I lift your name on high” ( which isn’t a bad thing, yeah I said it) and they may not know what a felt board nativity looks like, but that doesn’t make them less of a Christian and for sure shouldn’t feel like an outsider. God didn’t make His Gospel hard to understand and actions in the Church shouldn’t be either. When someone shares they don’t know Father Abraham, let’s not give a gasp and hold our hands to our mouths, let’s just say “don’t worry, it really isn’t something we sing anymore anyway…we’re grown ups.”
For those who don’t know I am copying a link to the lyrics for father Abraham…don’t listen to it unless you are near a campfire or with a group of friends in a circle. 🙂