Lent: From Separation to Adoption
46 days of sacrifice seems an odd way to be reminded of Christ’s suffering. I’ve never really fully understood it, and probably still don’t. But as I continue to grow in my own faith, dig into my Church history, and process my own salvation, the one label that has continued to anchor me – the one title I cling to is Daughter of God. I am a Child of God.
It’s a term that we typically grow up hearing. And unfortunately, like so many other words and phrases, “Child of God” rolls off the tongue the same way it also tends to roll off our hearts. We say it, claim it, and live out of it with less than a passing thought.
But when we really grip down and consider the weight of Lent before celebrating Easter, I think we find that our adoption into God’s Kingdom is anything but a passing thought. It isn’t just a cute “churchy” word; adoption is foundational to our identity. God chose to adopt us. He chose to come after us. He chose us as His heirs. But He didn’t have to. He didn’t have to do anything. He could have let His righteous arm of judgment sentence us all to a very painful life – ending with a very painful death.
But instead, He said, “No. I want them with me. I want them in my family. I want to rescue them, I want to redeem them.”
Friends, our adoption is our Redemption.
Our adoption into God’s Kingdom was costly. It was a cost that began with Christ’s 40 day desert walk with Satan and continued with His suffering on the cross. That 40 days of temptation involved Christ experiencing every insecurity, every pressure, every fear that we could ever have. He humbled himself to experience it so that we could be freed by it.
The celebration of Lent is not only a time to go without so that we can be reminded of what was given up for us, but it is also one more reason for us to look back at and simultaneously forward to the cross. It is a time to remember our adoption and what it cost.
Christian artist Derek Loux has a brilliant quote about God’s adoption of us: “My friends, adoption is redemption. It’s costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him.”
And it did! Our adoption was costly. It was exhausting and expensive. It was outrageous and murderous! And it just happens to be the thing that sealed us into God’s family forever.
This Lenten season, whether you are going without a normal comfort, whether you have chosen to add a new spiritual discipline to your schedule, or if life continues on as it always has, be reminded to rest, sit, and soak in the fact that you have been bought. You have been won. You have been chosen. You, my friend, have been adopted as a Child of God, and there is no better title than that.
Scripture reference: Gal 3:23-29, 4:1-7; 1 Cor. 6:20.