Adoption is one of the metaphor’s used by the Apostle Paul to speak of God’s inclusion. To the Ephesians, Paul writes, “Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ.” (Msg)
For me, as an adopted child, this word has deep, personal implications. My parents brought me in to their family and raised me as their own, regardless of biology. I received unconditional love from people who chose me.
With this background, the greatest motivation for my ministry is to bring people in to the family of God. As a twice adopted child, I want others to experience the unconditional acceptance of adoption.
Today, I had the honor of practicing this in a very tangible way. I baptized Aubrey Suzanne Ka’ulahiwa Rupanovic, the adopted daughter of my dear friends, Rich and Michelle. Two years ago I baptized their adopted son, Mitchell.
During the baptism ceremony, Mitchell leaned over and kissed his sister. Aubrey didn’t whimper as water fell on her forehead. A congregation vowed to hold all in prayer. It was a good day.
As I reflect on this experience, I am challenged anew to share the message with others that they too have been adopted in to God’s family. Regardless of the many ways that we divide people in to categories of worthy or unworthy, every person is a child of God and every child is adopted in to God’s family. We are all the focus of God’s love.
For those of us who find comfort in Paul’s words, let us share this message with a world of people who find themselves alone among crowds, isolated from the beloved community. It is God’s will for all children to find a home in Jesus Christ.