Monday, November 30, 2009

Advent Devotion: His name is our name too

14 " 'The days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.

15 " 'In those days and at that time
I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David's line;
he will do what is just and right in the land.

16 In those days Judah will be saved
and Jerusalem will live in safety.
This is the name by which it will be called:
The LORD Our Righteousness.'
-Jeremiah 33:14-16

Usually at Christmas, we think of the baby Jesus, being born into the family of mankind, God incarnated in lowly flesh. But it's important to remember why He did it- not so that He could be in our dysfunctional family, but so that we could become a part of His, complete, whole, perfectly loving family. 1 John 3:1a declares "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!"

When a child is adopted, they receive the last name of their adoptive family. You are no longer a John or Jane "Doe," unaffiliated, unclaimed, unknown, unassociated. Once adopted, you are no longer unsafe or unsaved.

Because Jesus was born on Christmas, and died for our sins on Good Friday and defeated sin, death, and the Devil on Easter morning- we are adopted as God's children. Christ isn't really a last name, it's a title- it means "anointed one." To be anointed means to be set aside for God's special purpose. To be "Christians" (little-Christs) means that we inherit that same purpose, the purpose is sharing God's love and the good news of His forgiveness through Jesus- our purpose is to enlarge the family.

Having the right name can make all the difference. In the movie "Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist" a group of New York teenagers spend all night trying to find the club that their favorite band will play. Most people have to stand in lines outside, few get past the bouncers- but Nora can get her friends in every time. The reason is because she's the daughter of a famous music producer with lots of connections. Her name gets her perks.

In Jeremiah 33, God promised a new branch in His family tree and He gives us His name as our new name- "The Lord is our righteousness." Without Jesus, none of us could ever be holy or worthy to be set aside for His purposes, let alone be His child. But once adopted, He no longer sees our own lack of righteousness, He IS our righteousness.

This Christmas, remember the Christ part of the holiday's name, because it is also OUR name if we are adopted into His family. "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!"

Know someone who's adopted? Pray for them this Christmas.

Are you facing an unplanned pregnancy? Adoption is a beautiful choice. Give your baby the gift of life and the gift of a loving family who're looking for a child to love and care for.

Got love and resources to share? Be like Joseph the carpenter from Nazareth, consider adopting or becoming a foster parent. - Lutheran Family Services of Iowa - Christian Adoption Services

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