For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:15-17)
Some of my children are mine by birth and some are adopted. I won’t say I love all my children the same way, because I think each child has a unique relationship with his or her parent. But I can tell you that whether a certain kiddo was born to me or adopted very rarely crosses my mind in the middle of every day life. It’s hugs all around. Chores all around. Mom loses it and yells…that gets shared equally, too.
A few months ago, someone asked what my son’s name was before we adopted him. I’m somewhat embarrassed to say I had to go back and look it up in his paperwork, even though we had called him that for a year before we adopted him. He had lived with us as our foster child before the adoption took place. Yet I really couldn’t remember anymore. He is who he is now – my son in every way.
God tells us in Romans 8 that we are “heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.” I’m not sure we can fully grasp the magnitude of that when I consider it, but it fills me with awe – that I, humble, human, plain old me — God considers a fellow heir with Christ, the Son of God! God is giving us all the rights and privileges of being the sons and daughters of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
At the courthouse the day of my son’s adoption, after the judge had gone through all the legalities, she turned to my little boy who was a toddler at the time. She looked at him very seriously. He was probably too young to understand the magnitude of what was happening that day and was mostly interested in the colorful balloons we had brought to celebrate the occasion. Still, she looked into his eyes, pointed to me, and then to my husband, and said, “This is your Mommy now, and this is your Daddy. Forever and ever, whatever happens the rest of your life, nothing can ever change that.”
As baptized Christians, we can remember our baptism day the same way. Martin Luther encouraged that we start and end every day with a remembrance of our Baptism. No matter what happens this day, I am an adopted child of God. I am His.
From the Small Catechism:
In the morning, as soon as you get out of bed, you are to make the sign of the holy cross and say: “God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit watch over me. Amen.
In the evening, when you go to bed, you are to make the sign of the holy cross and say: “God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit watch over me. Amen.”1
- Martin Luther, “The Small Catechism,” in The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, ed. Robert Kolb and Timothy J. Wengert (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2000) 363