16 That’s why the inheritance comes through faith, so that it will be on the basis of God’s grace. In that way, the promise is secure for all of Abraham’s descendants, not just for those who are related by Law but also for those who are related by the faith of Abraham, who is the father of all of us. 17 As it is written: I have appointed you to be the father of many nations. So Abraham is our father in the eyes of God in whom he had faith, the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that don’t exist into existence.
23 But the scripture that says it was credited to him wasn’t written only for Abraham’s sake. 24 It was written also for our sake, because it is going to be credited to us too. It will be credited to those of us who have faith in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over because of our mistakes, and he was raised to meet the requirements of righteousness for us.
Families can be made in many different, beautiful ways and with all different types of relationships. Some have close ties to their family of origin, other families grow through fostering and adoption, others choose a friend-based family in adulthood. The possibilities of family dynamics are endless. People that we may consider family aren’t necessarily part of our genealogical or biological line.
Many were brought to tears a few years back when an adoption hearing made it to big news stations. After fostering two brothers, the day had come for an official adoption of the 13-year-old and 6-year-old from Oregon. At the hearing, the older brother gave a special speech where he talked about his new parents being the best thing that ever happened to him. His new mother sobbed with joy over her love for her sons even before they were by law her sons. They were family long before the actual adoption. After the adoption was finished, the family, all dressed in their best and splurging on a limo to and from the court, took photos together holding a sign that read, “Chosen. Loved. Adopted.”
In today’s text, Paul is speaking about the Abraham and Sarah texts we looked at earlier this week. He talks about how when God made Abraham the father of many nations, that doesn’t mean that every Christ follower is necessarily a direct, biological descendant of Abraham. He argues that it is God’s love and grace that makes us all family, not blood-lines. Our faith not only makes us here at Medford UMC a church family, but it makes us family with so many other people of faith all over God’s creation.
By Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
Who in your life do you consider family? What kinds of dynamics make up the family ties you have? Where has God’s love and grace been present in these relationships?
Prayer: Loving Lord, in you we are all siblings in Christ. Help us fully celebrate the many beautiful given and chosen family bonds we have. Amen.