We know that the whole creation is groaning together and suffering labor pains up until now. And it’s not only the creation. We ourselves who have the Spirit as the first crop of the harvest also groan inside as we wait to be adopted and for our bodies to be set free. –Romans 8:22-23
In the short space of these two verses, Paul uses two different images of parenthood. First, Paul speaks about the creation groaning in labor pains. It is struggling to give birth to God’s new reality. In this new reality, which Paul thinks is coming very soon, the world is no longer subject to the powers of death and decay. The creation itself achieves the status currently held by “the children of God,” that is, freedom from slavery to sin and death. It is a struggle in the here and now, but all creation, not just humans, will be saved from death.
Second, Paul makes clear that God’s human children are children of adoption. What is significant about adoption is that it does not happen by accident; adoption is always a conscious choice. If God is adopting us as children, then we know that God has chosen us as children.
In the Roman world, adoption was typically a contract between two adult males for the purpose of inheritance. If a prominent man did not have a male heir, or thought his heir was unsuitable, he could adopt someone—usually an adult—to be his heir. For example, Julius Caesar adopted his biological nephew, Octavian, the future Emperor Augustus.
The fact that God chooses us for adoption, means that God chooses us to be heirs of the divine inheritance: immortality. It also means that we have been chosen to be God’s agents in the world. It is our duty and our joy to be about God’s business on this planet. Being a child of God is both a grace and a responsibility.
Yours in Christ,
++ Meetings: Mon 21st 5pm – Staff/Parish, Tues 22nd 6pm – Financial committee
++ Newsletter items are due by Wed 23rd.
++ Books for the fall retreat book study, The Noticer, are in! You may get yours from Kris White. Cost is $8.75 . (Scholarships are available for books and the retreat. Contact Jennifer in the office).
++ Annual church yard sale is Sat August 9th. A sign- up sheet will be in the Narthex for those wanting to volunteer.
++ Card Class meets Sunday 20th at 1:15 in the Fellowship Hall.
++ Food on the 4th is Sunday 27th.
Pastor David and family have moved into the parsonage.
May their new home be filled with laughter and joy,
be a place where love abounds,
be a place of refuge and safety,
and be where they can experience God’s magnificent grace.