Pastor Scott Hannon
St. John Lutheran Church, Amhert, NY
In life there are things we can choose and things we can’t. Currently, my wife is 5 weeks away from baby #2 and I am beginning to realize there are a ton of things I can’t control. I don’t know when the baby will arrive, not exactly anyway. We do not know and cannot pick the gender. Even naming this child is proving a process as Kate and I continue to veto one another’s choices. So much of this situation seems out of my hands and beyond my control.
Maybe it’s because my family is growing, but I’ve been sensitive lately to all the talk in church and scripture about God’s family. We call God our father. We embrace our identity as God’s children. On three separate occasions last week I heard members of St. John proclaim, “I love our church family!” (Me too.)
We are God’s family. I think it’s important to remember, however, that we are not God’s children in the same way Kate and I will have a second child in a few weeks. At this point, Kate and I do not have a choice. This baby is coming. It will be ours. We will (already do) love him/her unconditionally. I don’t mean to minimize a parent’s love for their child, but it’s not all that uncommon or amazing. We tend to expect parents are going to love their kid.
When we say we are God’s children it’s different. We are God’s children because God makes a choice. God chooses us. God picks us. God adopts us. We are born in sin to parents who sin and God meets us in that broken space and says:
“I have chosen you and not cast you off. Do not fear for I am with you. Do not be afraid for I am your God.” Isaiah 41:9-10
“Do not fear, I have redeemed you. I have called you by name and you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1
And St. Paul reminds us…
“He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 1:5
Maybe it’s making much ado about nothing, but today it seems pretty amazing to me that God looked down on us and said, “You are mine.” So, as you go through your day, your week, your month remember your adoption – remember that God found you in a world of sin and said, “You belong to me. You can call me Dad.”
Let us pray. Merciful God, because of your love for us in Jesus we have become brothers and sisters, daughters and sons in your family, the church. We thank you for the love which welcomes us into your household. Bless parents who adopt and families that merge. Help all households, including our church family, to share joy, caring and love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
In the Way,