Gal. 4:1 ¶ My point is this: heirs, as long as they are minors, are no better than slaves, though they are the owners of all the property;
Gal. 4:2 but they remain under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father.
Gal. 4:3 So with us; while we were minors, we were enslaved to the elemental spirits of the world.
Gal. 4:4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,
Gal. 4:5 in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children.
Gal. 4:6 And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
Gal. 4:7 So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.
When Jesus was born in the flesh the potential for our relationship with God was changed. We could be adopted as children. This changed everything. The relationship of a worker to their boss is simply a work relationship. The employee is not a member of the employer's family. The employee is simply that, an employee who works for the employer. But when the relationship is changed, when someone is adopted, they become a full-fledged member of the family. They have legally become a part of that family and they have all the rights and privileges of one who was born into the family. Jesus is the biological son and we are all the adopted children, making us all part of the same family. God is our father, a father who loves us dearly and we are now officials heirs of the kingdom of God.
Four years ago last week my oldest brother, Jerry, went home to be with the Lord. I will never forget the day of his funeral as I walked my mother and father into that little chapel so that they could say their final good-byes. I held their hands as they stood and looked into that casket, fighting back the tears. My father said, "This just isn't right. A parent should never have to bury their child. We are supposed to go first." Then he reached out and touched my brother and told him good-bye. It was a tough moment watching my parents go through that pain. The love for my brother Jerry oozed out of every pour of their bodies.
At that moment something struck me about the love of God. My brother was adopted by my parents when he was just a few days old. For my entire life he was my big brother and for his whole life he was my parents' son. It didn't matter whether he was biological or adopted, the love of parents and family was the same. The relationship and love was complete. Mom and Dad were Jerry's real mom and dad. They loved him and stuck with him through the good and the bad, through health and through illness. They never, ever gave up on him.
Our heavenly father never ever gives up on us. We have been made his children completely and totally through adoption. We have all the rights and privileges of the Son. We can curl up on his lap and we can call him "Daddy!"
The enemy would not want us to believe in a Father that loves us with such love that he will never turn his back on us, but that is the case. No matter what we've done in life, no matter where we've gone, our Daddy will always be looking out for us. Maybe we've run away from home and need to come back, or maybe we've just been ignoring our Father. Today we are being called by the Father. He is asking us to slow down and spend some time with him. Our Daddy wants to care for us, if only we will allow him. We need to stop acting like orphans and join in the family celebration as a true heir of all that he has provided for us.
Our oldest daughter is nearly six feet tall and yet I can recall one of those weekends when she came home from college and needed to have a good cry with her dad. She climbed up in his lap and said began the conversation with "Daddy." Our two girls simply have to utter the word "Daddy" and Chuck melts. He would pretty much do anything for them. If our earthly fathers can love this much, how much more our heavenly Father. Let's climb up in his lap today and spend time with our Daddy.
Daddy! Thank you for the privilege of being your child. Amen.