New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!”it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
Today is the birthday of one of my oldest friends. She will celebrate her birth today, but in a few days she will have another special day to celebrate–the day she was adopted and received in to her family. Hers is a special adoption story because her parents weren’t planning to adopt until an announcement was made in church one Sunday. The pastor told that there were four women at a home the church supported who were about to deliver babies they wanted to put up for adoption, and these babies needed parents (this story goes back a few years). My friend’s parents didn’t hesitate. They looked at each other and said, “We’ll take one.” What a powerful thing it must be to know that your parents chose you in such a way. They didn’t have to, but they did. And they raised you and loved you and fought with you and (sometimes) cursed at you, but never, ever stopped loving you and never, ever let you go.
While most of us have been raised by our birth parents, we, too, know what it is like to be adopted. To be chosen. That is what God has done for us through Christ. The scriptures tell us that we are adopted children, and we are heirs (a legal term) of God.
What does it mean to you to be adopted by God?
If we are heirs of God, what exactly do you believe our inheritance is?
Today, pray for those who feel like they don’t belong. You may want to include yourself in the prayer.
Gracious God, help us to remember that we are included in your kingdom. Not because of who we are, but because of who you are. Help us to remember that the guy who cut us off in traffic, the rude customer service agent and the bully from high school are also included. May our trust and faith in Your love for us help us to love those who are not so easy to love. Amen.