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Mid-Week with Christ
July 8, 2020

Adopted Children of God

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Romans 8:9-17

 
9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
 

Prayer for the Day

 
Father most holy, we thank you that for the sake of Your Son Jesus Christ you have adopted us into your family as your children. Help us to live lives worthy of this high calling. Amen.

One of the most beloved sitcoms of the 80s and 90s was the television show Cheers. Set principally in a bar in Boston, the show followed the foibles and friendships of the bar's regulars, its bartenders and its servers. Anyone who watched the show remembers well the theme song and its refrain, "You want to be where everybody knows your name." Everyone wants a place where they know who they are, because they belong.

We live in an era when identity is one of the most highly sought-after commodities. We want to know what our tribe is, who is on our team, and what our place is in the world. Am I a Christian African-American from the South? Am I a nationalist? A socialist? Am I a real Canadian or just an "immigrant," a native or a Native? Is my group or tribe respected and privileged, or is it being oppressed and victimized? Ok, boomer: which generation matters the most and to which do I belong?

Paul urges his readers to consider the one identity that can give life meaning and enable us to serve all people: our adoption through Christ as sons and daughters of God. By the Holy Spirit that lives within us, sent by the Father into the world and breathed into us by Christ Jesus our brother, we are now members of God's family. No identity the world bestows on us can matter as much as that. 

So many fear losing themselves if they don't hold on to their manmade identities. But as those who have been adopted into God's household in Jesus, we have nothing to fear. 
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