Because we Christians have been united with Christ in baptism, we also receive the same status of being sons and daughters of God through adoption. We can call upon God with trust as our “Abba! Father!”
Parents who have adopted children are often quite insistent in saying “This is my child, not my ‘adopted child.’” Adoption, like birth, describes the process by which someone came to be part of the family in the first place. But once a member of the family, one belongs, regardless of how one entered it.
Martin Luther uses this language of being children of God to reinforce how God’s promise does not depend on what we do. Neither in birth nor in adoption does the child play an active role. We don’t choose the family we are born into. In adoption, it is the parent rather than the child who chooses. So it is with God and us. We are members of God’s family by God’s choice, not our own.
This message is excerpted from the Bible study “Galatians: Christian Faith and Christian Freedom” by Kathryn Kleinhans in the March 2017 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate Joseph, guardian of Jesus.
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