Why folks should adopt locally and inter-racially

First, I am in NO way saying moms and dads should not adopt internationally. They should! By all means, go adopt internationally. It’s holy. It’s right. It’s good. International adoption opens ministry doors, meets needs a multiple levels and brings great joy.

I am saying that local adoption opens different doors of opportunity. I’d like to share one experience that illustrates this.

Friday afternoon following wrestling practice my boys and I went to a local establishment. Not many boys and men frequent this particular establishment due to its location and somewhat “stereo typicalness”. Also, I’m an insider here. I’m not an outsider. Many of the men who come into this place have known me since I was 5. I went to school with a lot of them. They know me.

Remember, I have two biological sons and one adopted son. Most of you reading know this fact already. But what makes my situation different is that my adopted son is very clearly black (we say brown for many reasons but I suppose that is a different post).  This is also not the post to deal with why we use the terms biological and adopted. There are theological reasons for that as well. Just know that Daniel is as much my boy as Gabriel and John Mark are. He’s got the name and social security number to prove it. He’s a Jolly, by God.

Well, not thirty-seconds into entering this shop the few eyes in there were peering pretty hard. I’m used to that kind of thing but not so much the boldness of one who actually opens their mouth. Some people actually have honest questions and that is ok. Some have questions that are really statements and I’m sure you could tell the difference too. And truthfully, I’m totally not even aware most of the time. I’m so used to my mixed race family that it takes me a minute to become aware people are staring. However, all of a sudden out came this question/statement: “all three of them yours?” The tone was clear. The black kid was not welcome and they needed to know if he was with me and could stay. By God’s grace the Spirit caught my response that included a string of four letter accusations about their character, momma and family line….lets move on. I simply responded, “yes, all three are mine, all three carry my name.” My tone also made clear my intentions to protect, guard and take the offensive if need be. We looked around and the boys were completely unaware. They were just enamored with the inventory and they never brought it up so I’m sure they never caught it.

This is just one of the encounters we have had nearly seven years. So, why put yourself and your children in the line of fire for such things by adopting out of the town you live in and inter-racially? I mean, you may run into distant relatives and into people who would gladly take a step back socially. Why do that? Here’s why.

Obedience
The Scriptures are clear. I don’t have an option. Father cares about the orphan. I’ve said enough about this in public and don’t need to grind that axe here. It’s just right and clear biblically.
Meets a practical need
Adoption locally meets a practical need in the town you live in. I sit on the board for the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS). As a citizen representative from the church to our county, I see and hear the internal need and the external need. I can only do what I have done. Financially I can’t do any more. If I had more money I’d take more. Father knows my heart. I weep now because I can’t do more than sound the alarm and hope many come running. But taking just one has changed his life and alleviated one from the system. It has made a difference in Daniel’s life and the ripple effect is growing.
Displays a facet of the gospel
When we adopt it shows off a portion of the Gospel message. Romans 8 and Galatians 4 tell us that Father, through the death, burial and resurrection of the Son and by the ministry of the Spirit has adopted those who repent and believe into the family as sons and daughters. As we adopt, we show the world that Father desires to take people who don’t look like him and make them his and begin training them to look like him. Oh, what an avenue for the Gospel.
Confronts racism
By adopting inter-racially we get to confront the sin of racism. Racism knows no ethnic boundary. It’s not just white people. It’s human. Racism is a global epidemic. As we adopt inter-racially our eyes become open to it and we then can begin to confront out own racist tendencies toward whomever they are directed and see the Lord clean that part of our character up. Inter-racial adoption also causes others to deal with their sin. We get to confront it in family members and friends and bring the Gospel to bear on a great moral evil. It’s holy.
Opportunity to minister to the racist
Finally, we get to help out the racist. This is the hardest part. I don’t care for them. I know pastors are not supposed to say things like that. At least in perception. There are certain folks I don’t care for. This kind is one of them. I’d just as soon throat punch them as look at them. However, I can’t do that (unless they attack, then no holds barred, right?). I have to somehow bring the Gospel to bear on a racist as much as anyone else. I can’t answer how I’m going to grow in this area. I know I have to because Daniel, his brothers, Jennifer and I will continue to get the same stuff at times. How do we handle it? We have to learn to engage those folks. Daniel is going to get much attention in his coming days. It will be clear who his brothers, mom and dad are. We must help with the Gospel. What an opportunity!
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Joy!

Advent Week 3: Joy

Isaiah 35:1-10

Luke 1:46b-55

James 5:7-10
Matthew 11:2-11

The Magnificat or The Megaluno: Luke 1:46-55

Luke 1:46-47: Mary’s song is for enjoyment of the Lord

This section of Luke is called “The Magnificat” (Latin: [My soul] magnifies)—also known as the Song of Mary, is a song  frequently sung (or spoken) liturgically in some churches. It is one of the eight most ancient Christian hymns. Its name comes from the first word of the Latin version of the text.

In Koine Greek, the original language of the New Testament, word is we know as Magnificat is Megaluno. Megaluno means to magnify, to make great, to enlarge.

What is happening here is that Mary’s soul is processing joy.

Mary says:

“My soul magnifies the Lord,

and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”

So, magnify and rejoice are used in a parallel way. Soul parallels with spirit. Lord parallels with Savior. Magnifies parallels with rejoices.

Parallelism is the way Hebrew folks rhymed. If they rapped it would be in parallelism nor rhyming.

So, the Hebrew poet would rhyme by saying the same thing in a different way.

So, when Mary says that she is magnifying, making great and enlarging the Lord, she is NOT saying that she, in her sinful and fallen self is making the Lord look larger than he is (magnify) or that she is taking him to greatness by her efforts (make great) or even growing Father (enlarge).

Mary clarifies her intentions with the second line that defines the first. Mary’s entire being is rejoicing in the Lord.

Mary’s soul is processing joy.

Mary, simply put, is enjoying the Lord in public.

The reverse is true in Hebrew poetry. The second line also defines the first. When Mary is rejoicing in the Lord she is “magnifying” him.

What does that mean?

When Mary is enjoying she is not saying that her rejoicing is making him something he is not.

Mary, in her public enjoyment of the Lord, is showing him to be as big as he is. She is seeking to show how great he is. Mary is seeking to enlarge the Father’s praise and his people’s joy in his praise.

Mary, simply put, is enjoying the Lord and seeking to draw others into enjoying the Lord. 

What is the basis of Mary’s enjoyment and her appeal to us to come and enjoy?

2. Luke 1:48-50: Mary’s 4 reason’s for enjoying the Lord publicly

A. Father took notice of her, therefore, doing great things for Mary v. 48a, 49a

1. “who am I?” is the cry of this heart

B. All generations will call Mary blessed

1. This draws attention to the blesser not the blessed

2. Blessed = family inclusion resulting in receiving family resources

C. Father is holy

D. Father is merciful

3. Luke 1:51-55: Our 7 reason’s for enjoying the Lord publicly

Verse 51-54 move from present tense to aorist tense (a past tense).

This is significant.

Mary is looking forward to what will be done as a result of the coming promised child by looking back at what Father has done.

Why is this important?

John 5:39 “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me.”

 

Mary is looking back at what Father has done with the hope that what was done was a real gospel event but also a promise of what he will do in greater measure in the fulfillment of the promise to Moses to send one like him who will be the final and complete prophet, priest and king (Deuteronomy 18). He will tell you all my words, he will represent you as a merciful and faithful high priest and he will rule you well.

A. He has been strong v. 51

B. He has brought down the prideful mighty v. 52a

C. He has exalted the humble v. 52b

D. He has fed those who were deprived v. 53a

E. He has sent those with much away to a deprived state v. 53b

F. He has helped his people v. 54

C. He has been faithful just like he promised Abraham he would be v. 55

3. Mega-luno the Lord together in song and in life

A. Sing today like you mean it

B. Live with passionate submissive humility like Jesus (Philippians 2)