Ahh…I love Christmas.
I love the Christmas scents.
I love Advent wreaths and calendars filled with family time.
I love apple cider. And egg nog. And Christmas music.
And most of all, I love what Christmas represents.
I love the story of the Christ being born.
I love the way life and hope and miracles are represented in his birth.
And I especially love that we can be confident that because of His birth?
Salvation, mercy, and adoption are available to us all.
I love the various ways adoption is interwoven into the very fabric of the story of Christ’s birth.
As if it weren’t simply a “less than optimal” option? But rather, a key to unlocking the heart of God for redemption and family.
You see, not only are we able to be adopted into the Kingdom of God through adoption BECAUSE of Christ’s birth and life here?
having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. (Eph. 1:5-6 NKJV)
But Christ himself was adopted and loved wholeheartedly by an earthly father, through Joseph’s commitment to God and Mary. (Matthew 1; Luke 2:22-35)
What an amazing responsibility Joseph faced…stewarding. disciplining. loving. Christ himself…as his son? Protecting him, protecting their family, carefully guarding the mystery of his son until the timing of the Lord…
But really, don’t all fathers (and mothers) feel the weight of that responsibility? The depth of the honor to be able raise God’s favorite one. The seriousness of the accountability to guard and shepherd and love and discipline so that that person would be ready and able to fulfill his own destiny?
And, we may understand–as adoptive parents–how much Joseph could love and care for Jesus. We can say that we “get it”…That to Joseph? Jesus was simply his son. His child, for whom he was responsible for preparing for life (and so much more)…no more and no less loved than his other children…
While I am celebrating [with immeasurable gratitude] that Jesus was born for the sole purpose of giving US life?
While I am breathing in the beauty of this season?
I am also grateful for Joseph’s faith and commitment to God. I am mindful of the truth that adoption is in the very threads of our Christian beliefs.
And I am thankful that it continues to be the heart of God for us today.
Ashley Smith is a passionate and enthusiastic Blogger, Mother, Christian and Adoption Advocate. She often writes to release true stories and emotions about International Adoption, Faith and The Everyday Life over at In My Own Words and prays that her words would bring hope and life to readers. She is the analytical left-brained wife of a creative worship-leading right-brained (and yet still amazing) man and Mom to a 5 year old superhero-loving boy, Marvel, who joined their family in the summer of 2012 from Ethiopia! Ashley