As I write this week, Shirley and I are in North Carolina, visiting our son, daughter-in-law, and five grandchildren! (Our Youth Pastor, Caleb, is bringing the message this morning at Dayton UMC.) We've been having a wonderful time with the family, playing games, sharing meals and watching The Lion King together, among other things.
Adoption has played a big part in our lives. When Shirley and I found out we could not birth children, we explored adoption, and after a series of miracles, we were able to adopt twins! Peter and Rachel became our children as fully as if we had birthed them.
Then, years later, Peter and Mindy found they also could not birth children, and adopted the five beautiful children you see above. They are siblings from an orphanage in Ukraine. They are beautiful and joyful and loving. And they are our grandchildren as fully as if Peter and Mindy had birthed them.
Adoption is an amazing thing. A child is chosen to become part of a family they were not born into. Our children have been loved with all the love we have, and now our grandchildren are receiving the same. Whatever is left when we die, Peter and Rachel will split equally as their inheritance. They are joint heirs of all we are and all we have.
In Colossians 1:12-14, the Apostle Paul says he is, "...giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
Our Father in heaven has qualified us to share in the inheritance of His beloved Son, Jesus! He has adopted us as His own sons and daughters. God has made us His own! Shirley and I have not only adopted the twins and then the five grandchildren into our hearts and into our lives, we have been adopted into the heart and life of the Living God. This seems too-good-to-be-true, and yet it is true!
And God not only adopted us, He rescued us from the dominion of darkness, bringing us into the kingdom of His Son, who is the Light of the world. This adoption saved our lives. There is a lot of difference between a Ukrainian orphanage and our son's home. The grandchildren have been transferred from a place where they tell us they never heard much about Jesus to a home that is filled with His presence and love.
This is what God does in Christ. He rescues us and transfers us into His family. We are loved and cherished and claimed as His own. I know I do not deserve this. And yet, by sheer grace, it is something God has done.
Back in the 80's, our private adoption of the twins only cost around $400. Peter's and Mindy's adoption of our grandchildren cost significantly more than that. But the price Jesus paid to rescue and adopt us is beyond my imagination. I only need look at the Cross and remember the pain and humiliation He bore, and I am eternally grateful He was willing to pay the price!
In the next eight weeks at Dayton UMC, we will walk through the Book of Colossians in a series I'm calling, "Christ in You - the Hope of Glory!" Pastor Caleb kicks off that series this morning. It is my hope that we will all grow as we dive into the great truths of Colossians and draw closer and closer to Jesus.
Now for some breakfast and on to visit our son's church for worship. This afternoon, we are putting together a school desk from IKEA for our oldest granddaughter. Pray for us!