Dec. 21, 2012
Recently, Dr. Russell Moore visited FRCto present a lecture on adoption. He reminded us of a very important adoption story we often fail to consider – the adoption of Jesus by his earthly father, Joseph. He recounted the verse in James that tells us that true religion is caring for orphans and widows in their distress (James 1:27). Joseph made a choice to put that true religion into practice when he decided to care for and protect Mary and her son, Jesus.
The Bible records two lineages of Jesus, one from Mary and one from Joseph. Thus, Jesus became Joseph’s actual son, just like every child who is adopted today becomes the true child of the parents who adopt him. As Dr. Moore stated, adoption creates a real relationship. As Christians we should fully understand the vital role of adoption, as we were adopted into God’s family through Christ, so that we who were orphans in need of rescue now call God, “Father” (Romans 8:15).
The kingdom of God is made up of childlike faith (Luke18:16). It is of vital importance to the furtherance of the kingdom of God that we welcome children, as Dr. Moore reminded us, as blessings, not burdens.
I Like Giving, a new website dedicated to the idea of recognizing need and responding by acting generously (“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7), recently posted a video about a family, the Dennehy’s, with 9 adopted children from all over the world. The video, called “I Like Adoption,” features all 9 children, some of whom have special needs, and the parents discussing the concepts of family, love, and treating children as blessings. As Bomberger attests in his article, “I can’t imagine someone not being moved to introspection and action after watching this short film about the gift of family. It speaks to the heart without offense.” This video has the unique capacity to convey in just a few minutes the truth and worthiness of the Gospel. As one son sings a moving rendition of “How He Loves Us” (David Crowder Band), the love of Jesus for all people, no matter their age or circumstance, is conveyed more eloquently than can be described.
As we approach the day we have set aside to celebrate the greatest Gift ever given, we remember that this Gift was given in the form of a child. May we have renewed joy and hope in the remembrance that while we were orphans, Christ came to save us. We have been adopted and are now sons and daughters of the Most High God!
With this good news in your heart, prayerfully consider how you can welcome children with the love of Jesus this year. Begin by purposefully treating all individuals, as imperfect as they may be, as blessings – uniquely created to be loved and treasured. Spread the word about the blessing of adoption and support families who adopt. Throughout the New Year and beyond, I pray that we daily grasp the importance of welcoming, loving, and protecting these little ones that God has entrusted to us.