Our Adoptive Father: December 2

Lutheran Indian Ministries 2016 Advent Devotion

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
Galatians 4:4-5 (ESV)

 In Native communities, adoption is very common among family members. Sometimes a parent will need to work in another location, so they give the children to a grandparent or an aunt or uncle to care for. That’s one of the more positive circumstances; a more negative circumstance is that one or more of the parents is unable to care for the child because of an alcohol or drug addiction and so is either forced by the court to give the child to others to care for, or the extended family intervenes, and sets the child up in a new home.

 There is exactly this type of situation in our church. There is a family in our congregation that has adopted children who are neither blood relatives nor related through marriage. Sadly, the biological parents neither have the desire nor the ability to care for the children. But out of love, the adoptive parents saw the need and welcomed the children into their family. With nowhere else to turn, the children have been given a home, and now call their adoptive parents “mom” and “dad” without hesitation. What a beautiful reflection of God’s love toward us!

 We, who were under the law and powerless to fulfill its demands, in a word, helpless, were saved entirely by God’s action of sending His Son when the time had been fulfilled to make us a part of His family.

 We humans are very stubborn creatures, and we have to come to a point where we are completely honest about our inability to do something to earn God’s favor. It doesn’t come easily to accept this fact. But after many thousands of years, God knew that the time had come, and God sent us His Son. Our ruined sinful condition could not stop the more powerful force of God’s love to save us. Very much like the children in the adoptive family, we have been given love, security, and an identity as God’s children. This is worth celebrating today and every day!

 Thank you, God, for adopting me as Your child. Thank you for giving me Your love and identity, and the security of knowing that nothing can separate me from Your love. As I live my life in thankfulness to You, help me to share that love with others. In the name of your Son Jesus, Amen.

Vicar Tim Norton, Navajo, New Mexico