NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, JULY 12, 2015

This Sunday, following morning worship, we will gather in Danko Fellowship Hall to celebrate Mama Dorothy Swims’ 80th birthday with a special reception. We invite everyone to come and help us celebrate this wonderful moment in the life of a great lady, our church Mother. If you have been around Covenant any length of time, you are probably very aware of how special and beloved Mama Dorothy is by this congregation. Over the years she has meant a great deal to me and many others who have come to Covenant and experienced her unconditional love. For many of us, we have adopted her as our Mom and, fortunately, she has adopted us as well.

The scripture reading this week from Ephesians 1 tells us that God has also adopted us as His children. Often adopted children have been made to feel they were somehow inferior often by those that grew up with their birth parents. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

When the Apostle Paul used this term, it was a very special thing in the Roman world to be adopted. If we understood why back then being adopted was so special, we would then understand why it is so special and meaningful to know that through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, God has adopted us.

I’m reminded of the story of when a little girl came home from school one day very sad. Her mother, sensing that something was wrong, tried to find out what the problem was. At first the little girl didn’t want to talk about it but finally through tears she told how she had been made fun of at school by some of the other kids because she was adopted. “No one really loves you,” the children taunted her.

So her adopted mother held her in her arms, slowly rocking her and telling her daughter how much she was loved. She explained to her daughter that mommies and daddies who have children of their own love them, but they have no choice about the children they will have. They simply get what they get.

“We, on the other hand,” the mother explained, “chose you. We looked and searched and out of all the children we saw, we chose you. That’s how much we loved you from the first time we laid eyes on you.” It’s a special thing to be adopted.

It is a special thing to be adopted! The Apostle Paul says that you and I have been adopted by God. We are God’s adopted children! We were specially chosen because God wants children with which to share His love!”

Join us for worship this Sunday morning and then afterwards for our celebration of Mama Dorothy’s 80th Birthday. In my sermon called “Chosen and Adopted,” I’ll share what it was that made being “adopted” so special in St. Paul’s day. The sermon is based on Ephesians 1:3-14.

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