Thoughts to Ponder are my musings regarding community, things of the Spirit, and living as a Christ-follower. I don't offer the words of a professional or an expert; just a fellow traveler and explorer. Please don't take my musings more serious than I do. I've discovered a long time ago that I do not hold the keys of knowledge or wisdom. If I did, I misplaced them somewhere...typical.

Monday, April 02, 2007


The picture below warms my heart. Mark and Cynthia, two dear friends of mine from Memphis, have just returned from China with their second adopted child, Nya Joy. Their first adopted child, Rivers Grace, is pictured here beside her new "little sister" Nya.

Mark and Cynthia have two sons. One is in college and the other is in high school. When they heard of the need for adoptive parents of girl children in China, they responded. After Rivers came to live with them a few years ago, they requested to adopt another child. This time they specified a child who was handicapped, mentally or physically.

The picture doesn't show it, but Nya was born with a cleft palate. It turns out she received surgery to correct the problem before they journeyed to China to finalize the adoption. They were thrilled, but had there had been no surgery--or had it been less successful, it would not have changed their adoption plans.

As Resurrection Sunday approaches I can't help but think of Rivers and Nya and how their mom and dad love them (as do their "big brothers"). Consider this: we were unlovely, unworthy, and completely hopeless. As Paul describes us: we were by nature "objects of wrath", "without hope and without God in the world" (Ephesians 2). But according to Paul in Ephesians we were adopted to be his children. In spite of our defects we were given love. In him we were chosen in order that we might be for the praise of his glory. As a result Paul prays that we might know our father better, that the eyes of our hearts might be enlightened so we may know the hope to which he has called us (Ephesians 1).

That hope is not our hope of heaven. The hope to which he has called us is his hope for us! It is as if he has a dream for us. He has a picture of how he wants us to grow. This doesn't refer to the job we will get or if we'll be successful in the world. It refers to his dream that we will grow into the image of Jesus. The rest of Ephesians describes what it means to live as a family member and as one who bears God's image. In Ephesians 4:1 he calls us to live in a way that's "appropriate" of our calling (i.e., our calling as members of his family).

So as you prepare yourself for Resurrection Sunday consider how God, through Jesus, has adopted you as his child. It doesn't matter how ugly you think you are (or may actually be!)! Doesn't matter how bad you've been or how inconsequential you feel. God adopted you. He chose you to be a child.

And Jesus? What is his view of you? Consider this passage (Hebrews 2:10, 11):

"In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers."

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