Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thoughts on Adoption and the Gospel

I imagine it is no surprise that adoption is on my mind.  I have some thoughts and I hope I can capture the essence of what is weighing heavy on me.
I was blessed to attend church while here in Ukraine.  The service is in Ukrainian, but there is a translator who sits off to the left.  While the pastor is speaking, he translates for the Americans sitting near him.
After the service I was speaking with someone who asked me a familiar question,"Why are you adopting?  What do people mean when they say they have been "called" to adopt?"

I know that you have read many thoughts about adoption and redemption, the function of the church body,  the gospel and adoption as the best representation of the gospel in action.

I suppose these thoughts I have center really upon this last idea.

I think about God and His love for me.

I think about how I do not deserve it.

I think about how I cannot earn it.

I think about how I cannot even desire it without God gifting me with this desire.

I think that in and of myself I have no redeeming qualities that would compel God to love me.

Speaking of God we read in Luke 6:35 "...He is kind even to people who are ungrateful and full of sin."

That is me, ungrateful and full of sin.


How many observers of adoptive families are dumbfounded that the children who have been adopted seem ungrateful, angry even?  The children don't seem to appreciate what has been done for them, sometimes even resent it.  How can that be when everything is now SO MUCH BETTER!  It's like the kids don't LOVE their parents.  Especially when they first come home.
Of all the nerve...
And there go those fool parents loving them anyway.  Meeting their needs anyway.  Relentless in their love for these ungrateful, unloveable castoffs who were so LUCKY to have been rescued...

Do you remember the children's church song:
Praise Him, praise Him all ye little children
God is love, God is love,
Praise Him, praise Him all ye little children
God is love, God is love.

If God is love and we know what love is, we will know what God is.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous, love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek it's own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails...

So just how is adoption the gospel?

When this train of thought began, I just kept thinking about the phrase "through a glass darkly".  I found it quite interesting that it lands itself right at the end of the chapter about love.

1 Corinthians 13:12-13
for now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I have been fully known.  But now faith, hope, love abide these three: but the greatest of these is love.

This way we love our adopted children, who have done nothing to earn our love, don't deserve it, didn't even ask for it, and don't always even have the desire for it, benefit from our love anyway.

 This love is the closest thing on Earth that is like God's love for us.  This is how we see God's love for us as through a glass darkly.  In this love we can catch a glimpse, almost grasp HIS LOVE FOR US.

 It is seen through adoption.  

After all, the act of adoption is how God has brought us into His family.  Joint heirs with Christ Jesus.

  1. Romans 8:15
    For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”
  2. Romans 8:23
    And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for ouradoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
  3. Romans 9:4
    who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,
  4. Galatians 4:5
    so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
  5. Ephesians 1:5
    He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,