Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Devotion 12.7.16

My wife and I are adoptive parents.  That's a fact I don't state often, if at all, because it no longer seems necessary.  Our children know it.  We know it.  Our family knows it, and if it comes up in conversation, we acknowledge it, but after 24 years, we feel that we are simply parents.  In fact, it rarely comes into my mind that 24 years ago we were privileged to become parents through the adoption process.

The agencies have you come to terms with your "grief," or at least Lutheran Social Services did.  During a weekend session, they have the prospective parents in the room to listen as they talk about infertility and coming to terms with that, and the pain that some people feel as they are childless.  I considered it a rather cruel session because that impacts women far differently than men, so the women begin to cry and the presenter almost put it into hyper-drive at that point, almost as though to pour salt into the wound.  The other fact was that several of us in the room had already begun to come to grips with this and didn't need a lecture.

That said, we soon became parents, and looking back on it, the delivery of children into our home was no less a blessing of God than a biological birth.  Our home became and still is home, and our lives intertwine as parents/children with all the interactions that occur as that relationship changes.  We firmly believe God put us in their lives and them in ours much as he would with biological children, so the notion of "adoption" is far behind us.

The other fact is scriptural as well.  We are all adopted.  We are not our own.  As we consider Christ's family tree, we ask ourselves, "Am I part of that tree if the gift of faith and a recipient of the benefits of faith are given to those in Christ's heritage?"  Yes, we are literally all adopted into the shoot of Jesse's stump.  In Ephesians, Paul writes about those who enter faith in Christ as "adopted." "For He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His presence. In love He predestined us for adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will." Christ's elect are adopted as a matter of their faith, which he knew about in advance (not chosen to be Christians in advance, but Christians chosen to advance his gospel). As Gentiles especially, we became part of God's elect as Paul writes in Romans 11:  "...and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree,...." Finally, we do not "belong" to our parents or ourselves, but rather, we belong to God.  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians, "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;  you were bought at a price."

Our children are ours as a gift of God like all other children in a home.  All of us, in truth, are adopted, and Christ has predestined that adoption into his kingdom in order to advance his kingdom, with all the benefits his grace provides to God's "chosen" and to those grafted into Christ's tree.  We continue to give thanks for that gift as children of God as we prepare for his return.

Hope Men's Ministry

No comments:

Post a Comment