Scripture Reading — Ephesians 1:3-6
In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ ... Ephesians 1:4-5 —
I met a Christian couple on my way from Chicago to Moscow. Our connecting flight was delayed, and we started talking. They were flying to Russia to adopt an orphan, a little girl. This would be their first time to meet her.
As they showed me her picture, they were excited to welcome her into their family. They wanted to take good care of her and share their faith with her. Clearly they loved this child even before meeting her. Without even seeing her, they were willing to sacrifice money, time, and effort to make her their daughter.
The gospel story is similar, except that it's much bigger. God loves us so dearly that he chose us to be his children--even before the creation of the world! But in order to fully adopt us, he needed to deal with human sin. That's why he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, into this world to die for us. In Jesus we find our salvation. In him God the Father adopts us to be sons and daughters in his international family.
How should we respond to God's bountiful love? The Bible tells us that we should love God first of all and that we should also love one another. No wonder Chris?tianity is called the religion of love! Encouraged by God's love for us, we seek to reflect God's love back into heaven and into this world.
Our heavenly Father, how excited we are to be, through adoption, your sons and daughters in Jesus Christ! Help us to respond with love to your love. Amen.