In our family, we celebrate Three-Four Day. On March 4th (3/4) my family went from three people to four. Our little girl wasn't born that day. Rather, a judge pronounced that we were now and forevermore a family through adoption.
The doctrine of adoption has alway been personally important to me in my own walk with the Lord. The primacy of that doctrine came back to me when the little girl who had felt like part of our family for months in foster care became officially part of our family.
We met our little girl in the hospital while she was detoxing from opioids and barbiturates. Originally, our local CYS agency had just asked us to visit and hold her while they sorted out her mother's case. Sadly, her bio-mama rejected the help she would need to be a parent and the little girl became an official foster child in our home when the hospital released her after seven weeks in the NICU.
For months, we expected bio-mama to work a program and take her baby home. But weeks turned into months, turned into nearly a year and in a series of rulings a judge declared that this baby went from the member of one family, to the member of no family, to the member of our family. The judge looked me right in they eyes and asked if I understood that this child had the full rights of a natural born child. I did.
I understood because that is exactly what God does in the gospel. Born into the kingdom of darkness, Jesus sends his Spirit to his children and they leave the kingdom of darkness for the kingdom of his marvelous light. They transfer from one family, headed by the Father of Lies, to a new family, headed by the Father from whom all Father's derive their name (Eph. 3:15).
This beautiful doctrine of our adoption, when rightly grasped, can animate a congregation. Church Renewal is the process of congregations having a new experience of their privilege of their adoption. My personal journey of adoption animates my faith. Imagine what it does for an entire congregation. Check out the podcast episode on adoption and if adoption has impacted you and your congregation, we'd love to hear about it.