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Monday, June 29, 2015

06282015 4th Sunday After Trinity - We are adopted as sons and daughters!

Sermon Audio (Will be posted soon!)

June 28, 2015
We are adopted as sons and daughters!

The year was 2002.  Having been married for nearly three years and trying to have children the news we heard on September 13, 2001 from the fertility doctor was still raw.  It would cost us upwards of $40,000 to attempt to have a child.  And with a job in education, the cost was way more than we could afford.

We prayed after that faithful day and determined there may be other ways of having a family.  We thought, there are plenty of children in the world who do not have parents, why not adopt and create an instant family?  It would be easier we thought, but then it happened.

After filling out all the paperwork, making sure all the required forms were complete, the medical exams were complete and the background information about our past lives was complete, we thought we were ready for the next step.  Then it happened that faithful day in April 2002.  I was rushed from a routine doctor’s appointment and instantly put into the Intensive Care Unit.  For the next three days I was hooked to blood pressure cuffs, oxygen sensors, pulse and heart monitors and had more blood taken than I can imagine.  I walked on a treadmill and was stressed to see what was wrong with me.
With that one stay in the hospital the hope Michele and I had of having a family of our own was dashed upon the rocks of reality.  During some of our preliminary information sessions, they said, if one was ever hospitalized, for other than routine procedures, that would be an automatic disqualifier.  So we even by adoption would not be able to have a family of our own.  It was a tough pill to swallow and one that wasn’t fully and completely resolved until March 14, 2009 and you know the rest of that story.

During those next seven years, I was reminded of the passage we have heard this morning from Paul in our epistle.  Paul, writing to the Romans explains a truth we need to hear and clearly understand as Christians.  We are promised that in our baptism, we are adopted as sons and daughters of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ claims us and since we are adopted we become children of God in and through our baptism through Water and Word.

With the Water connected to the Word of God, we are intimately connected to the love that Jesus Christ has for all of mankind.  Just as we have been reminded since Pentecost that God is a God of love and He loves us unconditionally, Jesus Christ as God’s Son loves us just as much even to giving Himself on the Cross in order that we might have eternal life.

Since we who gather here today are adopted into the family of God, we are also heirs of eternal life.  And as heirs we cannot earn God’s love, nor can we earn our salvation, but each of these are gifts freely given unto each and every one of us without cost.  God’s love for us is clearly shown by Jesus Christ life, death and resurrection.  What we get to do is share it.  Not just share it with our friends, but share it with everyone we meet.

This week we have had Sky Ranch here at Emmanuel for our Vacation Bible School.  Like in years past the staff has been high energy, high octane and high impact upon the kids we have coming for Day Camp.  This year 54% of the kids here for our day camp were from families of members of Emmanuel.  That’s 20 of the 37 who attended this year, both pre-school and school age kids.  The theme for this year was “A Love That Never Ends”. 

In one sense all of the kids that came this week were adopted and loved by the leaders, counselors and you the people of Emmanuel and have been taught about God’s Love.  This sharing of God’s love is not only clear and manifest in the children, but has impacted our church.  We have had fun and have made fun of ourselves, from my being given the gift of a cow bell to help people know I was coming, to enjoying the kids faith development, this has been an awesome week.  But the greatest opportunity is adopting each and every one of these kids and each of us gathered here and showing all of us the love of Jesus Christ.

May we as a congregation continue to show love for one another and share what Jesus Christ has done for all of mankind.  For God’s love never does end as we are adopted into His family and feel and share the love of God with everyone we meet.  AMEN.

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