I was overjoyed to learn this weekend that a friend of mine and her husband were able to finalize the adoption of their daughter on Friday. The photo says it all – one child smiling ear to ear, surrounded by two loving parents and a large extended family who have embraced her with a forever welcome.
This isn’t the only adoption story I’ve heard this year. Other friends have adopted children internationally, or are waiting to do so. And every time I hear about this complete and unconditional acceptance of a child into a family – whether it’s happening now or occurred long ago – I have the same recurrent thought.
Adopting a child is one of the most generous and least selfish decisions a person can make.
Today it occurred to me: Jesus was adopted too.
Yes, he was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, but he had an earthly father who took Jesus in as his own, regardless of what it would cost him.
Think about it: Joseph’s decision contradicted every ‘reason.’
The child was not biologically his. Choosing to love a woman who had conceived under circumstances the world would fail to understand would threaten his reputation and of course, require every resource he had.
Yet he heard God’s calling on his life and obeyed.
It wasn’t easy.
His decision to raise the Son as his own meant that while he gave everything a parent could, his child still suffered a humiliating death.
It was an ending no parent would want.
At least on the face of it.
But then – Joseph’s sacrifices were transformed through the Son’s ultimate success.
The child would return his father’s goodness – more times over than Joseph (or we) could ever count – and for all eternity, by adopting us.
Through His mercy and infinite Love, the Lord counts us as His own.
That’s the amazing gift of adoption we celebrate this Christmas.
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. (Romans 8:14, NIV)