My sister recently went through an extended period of labor to bring her first son into the world. Her pain and exhaustion are foreign to me, but along with the rest of my family, I awaited my nephew’s arrival with nervous anticipation. Why was his birth taking so long? Is everything alright? What will the world be like after he gets here?
So, too, has the whole of creation been awaiting the only Son of God. Generation after generation, all created things have nervously anticipated Jesus’ arrival, hoping that the world will be freed from its bondage to decay. Miraculously, our hopes are answered in Christ with a fervor we never dared to hope for.
It would have seemed foolish to me if my sister and brother-in-law decided that their precious baby was not enough, and decided that their family needed to keep growing—NOW. Yet this is exactly God’s plan for us. Following the birthing pains of the world answered in Jesus, God decides that the heavenly family could use a few more members and sets off on the most ambitious adoption plan in history, making us heirs with Christ, and inviting us to cry out: “Abba! Father!”
And now we are invited to continue in the creative love of God, living by the Spirit who groans for us as creation groaned for Christ. May we be heirs to the work of Christ, and patiently strive in hope for the redemption of all creation.
What does it mean to be adopted by the Lord? How can you participate in God’s ministry in the world today? How are you individually affected by the invitation to call God, “Abba! Father!”?
How do you witness creation groaning to be reconciled through Christ? What pains do you desire the Holy Ghost to give voice to? What do you hope for as the firstfruits of the Spirit?
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