He came to his own people, but they didn’t want him.
But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said,
He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves.
These are the God-begotten (From John 1: 11- 13 The Message)
The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor, heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives, pardon all prisoners.
God sent me to announce the year of his grace. (Isaiah 61: 1-2 The Message)
As I read through these words this morning I started to think about what it means to be God-begotten and to be able to become our “true child of God selves”. It seemed appropriate to link this to the message of Christmas and what it meant for Jesus to “heal the broken hearted”. I was reminded of friends of ours who several years ago wanted to adopt a native American child. The set up the adoption and then discovered that the child had four siblings who were also up for adoption – older children that would probably be split up and spend their lives moving from foster home to foster home because everyone wants to adopt babies. My compassionate friends did not want to split up the family and decided to adopt all the children in spite of the fact that they knew it would not be easy on them and their three biological children. The adopted children had been abused and mistreated. Both parents were alcoholics, their mother a drug addict. They were all deeply disturbed and scarred by these experiences.
I was overwhelmed this morning as I thought of the actions of my generous friends and how like God’s embracing of us as children they have been. God generously reaches out to all of us who are scarred and disfigured by sin – our own, our family’s and our society’s – yet God reaches out in compassion and draws us all into his family, even though our inclusion in his family may not make things easy for the rest of God’s family. And of course the one who paid the greatest toll was his own son Jesus.
I have certainly been very conscious of God’s generous compassion in my own life. I too come from a deeply scarred and dysfunctional family in which there was much physical abuse. When I became a Christian as a teenager I felt that God opened wide his arms and welcomed me into his family. However the scars I carried did not suddenly dissolve. God has worked through many others in his family to transform my life.
This surely is the good news of the gospel and the wonder of the message that we celebrate at this season. God’s children are not nice children that have been brought up in perfect homes. we are more like foster children who have been abused and abandoned by our own families and societies.
We are all scarred and disfigured in some way by our upbringing or by our interactions with the world around us. Yet God reaches out in deep compassion and love to draw us into an environment in which we can be healed, made whole and able to enter into the joy of God’s wonderful kingdom.
My fellow bloggers