Reader: “It is not so much God the Father out looking for children”
Response: “as it is we are orphans in search of a Father.” ―Matthew Henry
Scripture: Galatians 4:1-7
Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had.They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world.
But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
Reader: “The word of the Lord.”
Response: “Thanks be to God.”
“But when the right time came . . .” That’s an interesting phrase. What made it the right time? God only knows, but it was the right time to fulfill the Law. God would make everything new. What is certain is that God was working out his plan for the entire created universe and everything in it. At the time of the birth of Jesus, his people, the Jews, lived under the Law as given to Moses 1400 years earlier. The Law was given to show the people that they could not keep it, but were sinners, ultimately in a hopeless situation in relation to God. It is at this point that God personally stepped in to solve their problem by the birth of his perfect Son. God greatly loved his children, flawed as they were. In his great love, the Father made a way to adopt these spiritual orphans. In adopting them, he claimed them as true heirs giving to them all the rights and privileges as his very own children. He sealed this relationship by giving them the Holy Spirit in their hearts. And the Spirit bore witness to this marvelous truth. What you have probably noticed that everything above was past tense and in the third person. The wonderful truth is, we are all those spiritual orphans. Because of the “right time” all the third person pronouns become second person (you and me) and all the past tense is, in fact, present tense. “Now is the time of salvation.” God’s grand plan is still unfolding and we are part of it! Ask the Lord what part you have in what he is doing today. His timing will be “right.”
Music: “The First Noel” University of Utah Singers Gorgeous!!
Give us courage, O Lord, to stand up and be counted, to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves, to stand up for ourselves when it is needful for us to do so. Let us fear nothing more than we fear you. Let us love nothing more than we love you, for thus we shall fear nothing also. Let us have no other God before you, whether nation or party or state or church. Let us seek no other peace but the peace which is yours, and make us its instruments, opening our eyes and our ears and our hearts, so that we should know always what work of peace we may do for you. ―Alan Paton, 1903-1988, author of Cry the Beloved Country, from Eerdman’s Book of Famous Prayers, p.94
Most holy God, the source of all good desires, all right judgments, and all just works: give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, so that our minds may be fixed on the doing of your will, and that we, being delivered from the fear of all enemies, may live in peace and quietness; through the mercies of Christ Jesus our Savior. Amen. ―BCP