A few years ago, my daughter came skipping into the room where my extended family was gathered on Christmas Day. My aunt turned to me with wide eyes and said, “Sarah, I just had deja vu; for a split second, I thought it was a young you skipping in here.”
The analogy isn’t perfect, but children – including children who do not share the same genetic code – will resemble their parents. Mannerisms, habits, phrasing – all these are so often passed from parent to child without our even realizing it.
The same is true for us, as God’s children, though the passing of traits is much more intentional in this case. Let’s read Galatians 4:4-7.
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
We are in the fullness of time. The Israelites waited and longed for the redemption that was promised. And when it was time, the time that He had carefully selected for the world’s redemption, He sent forth his Son.
This is a choice of obedience, of sacrifice, on the part of the Son. He was not pressed into service, nor was He unaware of what His obedience would entail. He is sent with the full agreement of the Trinity, that in this manner the world would be redeemed. He knew he would become subject to the Law, that He would bear the weight of our disobedience in His willing obedience. Because He loves us. Actively. Wholly. Without bounds.
While today’s modern world may not appreciate the phrase adoption as sons, it is loaded with meaning for those familiar with the ancient world. Sons carry their father’s name all their lives. Sons inherit all their father has. Sons are brought into their father’s intimate circle.
We, as God’s “adopted sons”, have that! We carry our God’s name. We inherit all our God has. We are brought into our God’s intimate circle.
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
Not only are we sons, heirs, but we have His Spirit! His mannerisms of mercy, His habits of love, His phrasing of His Word are ours. We are no longer slaves to sin, but heirs with Christ. We are His people, sent into a world needing desperately to be freed and adopted.
This Advent, and always, let’s remember whose we are, and what great love He poured out on us in order to make us His. Love lain in a manger, love spoken in words of mercy, love spilled out from the cross, love poured out on us. Let’s continue to sprinkle, splash, pour or dump that love on a world filled with the need of a Savior.