Twelfth Day of Advent
Galatians 4:4-7 The Message (MSG)
4-7 But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law. Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance.
Two years ago, my daughter Kate and I had the privilege to travel to Johannesburg, South Africa and work with an organization called the Door of Hope, a group dedicated to taking in abandoned children and loving them until they are placed with a “forever family.” Each time a child is adopted, a celebration takes place. Photo displays of happy children and excited families cover the walls in the baby houses. The process is a beautiful illustration of God’s love—the kind of love Paul is addressing in this passage. Paul is explaining that the Gentiles, because of the arrival and work of Christ, no longer needed to wait for someone to find them a forever family. The rights and privileges of being called a child of God were extended to all, despite the conditions of their birth. The same is true for all of us today: once we accept this gift of grace, the Savior of the world calls us His child, and we can intimately call him Abba, Father, Papa, Daddy. As in Johannesburg, there are millions today who have been abandoned by either an earthly parent, or the world in general. As we prepare to celebrate the Nativity, let us pray that we, as believers, will serve to be a Door of Hope, introducing those in need to an eternal parent and forever family.
Re: Verse reading – John 3:1-21