I have a friend who has four children, one of whom is adopted. I was with him once when he met someone for the first time and was answering questions about himself. When the question ”which one was adopted“ was asked, he gave his usual reply. With a dismissive wave of his hand he replied, ”Oh, I can’t remember.” It was his way of saying that all of his children were precious, equal, and loved.
Do you know that God feels the same way about you?
In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he addressed a situation that had arisen between the “Judiazers”(Jewish converts) and the Gentile Christians. The Judiazers were insisting that converts to Christianity had to become Jewish (under the law) before becoming Christian. This involved many aspects of Judaism, including mandatory circumcision.
Can you imagine your Evangelism team going out door-to-door with that? That’s a hard pass, fellows.
Fortunately, Paul made the case that Jews and Gentiles were all adopted into the faith equally, and there was no need to go through the Law first:
Galatians 4 (Common English Bible)
4 But when the fulfillment of the time came, God sent his Son, born through a woman, and born under the Law. 5 This was so he could redeem those under the Law so that we could be adopted. 6 Because you are sons and daughters, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore, you are no longer a slave but a son or daughter, and if you are his child, then you are also an heir through God.
This passage gives us permission to call upon God as our Abba-Father. It speaks of a tender relationship between parent and child. It invites us to sit on Dad’s lap and tell him our troubles. It guarantees our inheritance in the Kingdom of God.
We are redeemed into the family of God, and God calls us his sons and daughters. Christ was sent in the fulfillment of time to level the playing field, giving us equal access to the Father. Like any family, we will have differences and squabbles with each other, but at the end of the day, Jesus calls us all in from the backyard, and we put our feet under the same table … one that he has prepared for us.
The next time you come to the table to receive communion, remember this. The body that was broken and the blood that was poured out for the forgiveness of sins are acts of redemption that were done for all of God’s adopted kids. May we be humbled, grateful, and ready to welcome our brothers and sisters there.