This time of year, we celebrate the birth of our Savior. Sovereign God, come as a newborn babe - the King of kings, born in a stable. In this beautiful, backwards-from-society story, we see the love of the Father, in the giving of His Son. And we see the love of a father, in the accepting of his son. It held miraculous and messy in tandem.
Jesus, born to Mary, a virgin, had no biological connection to Joseph. But Joseph, whose integrity kept him from disgracing Mary, even before he knew the miraculous events surrounding her pregnancy, raised Jesus as his son. Jesus, while fully God, required parents that were fully human. This Biblical account of adoption - of making a child part of a family forever - is made even more powerful by the intimate way we see Jesus’ connection to the fatherless.
In Luke 2:41-52, we read the account of Jesus’ visit to the temple. At 12 years old, he had remained in Jerusalem, listening and asking questions of the teachers. When Joseph and Mary discovered He was missing from among the group they were traveling with, they both searched for Him anxiously. Throughout these verses the words “His parents” and “your father” appear in reference to Joseph.
Later in Jesus’ life, after He had begun His ministry, He was identified as “the carpenter’s son.” (Matthew 13:55). His identity was tied to that of his earthly father, a father who stepped in to raise a son born not of his flesh, but of his heart. A father whose family lineage was an intricate part of fulfilling prophecy regarding where Jesus would be born (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:4&5). A father whose obedience to God’s leading preserved Jesus’ life (Matthew 2:13).
And in this unexpected way, God reveals the power of His love for the fatherless. In a world craving how-to’s and guides, the living, powerful Word of God (Hebrews 4:12) gives us clear guidance in what it means to receive a child in to our family - and make them a part of our family forever. It isn’t to become a savior, it is because our Savior came as a newborn babe, born in a lowly stable, fatherless, but brought into a family. God showed us the beauty of adoption through His Son before His glorious grace, through the sacrifice of Jesus, secured our adoption in to His family!
So this Christmas, as we celebrate the season, may our hearts be turned towards the One whose heart is powerfully drawn to the fatherless. May we be moved not with pity, but with compassion, as Jesus was (Matthew 9:36, 14:14, 18:27). May we embrace the tandem of miraculous and messy within adoption, and seek to see the lonely set in families (Psalm 68:6).
If you would like more information about adoption, foster care, or other ways you can get involved in caring for children in need of families, please contact us!
Naomi loves Jesus. She is married to her best friend, John. They have six amazing, beautiful kids, two of whom have been adopted from the foster care system. Naomi homeschools their tribe of world changers. She is a type-A, list-making, change-fearing girl living an adventure that demands flexibility, spontaneity, and constant change! She writes over at Living Out 127. Through her words, she prays you’ll find something that points your heart to the Dream Giver and the Author of each of our stories – Jesus.
Naomi is the Executive Director of Mid-Atlantic Orphan Care Coalition, and author of Don't Waste Your Wait: Embracing the Journey of Bringing Your Child Home.