"You Have Received a Spirit of Adoption"
My New Testament professor in college said that if he was stranded on a desert island and could only have one chapter of scripture, he would take Romans 8 every time. When I drove 3.5 hours from my student appointment in Duncan, Ok to Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, I memorized Romans 8--but many of those brain cells have left home.
There is a wonderful inclusion in: ‘all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.’ This passage about receiving a spirit of adoption reminds me of the practice it takes to be Pentecost people.
The older I get the more I see the impact of growing up in a blended family. I look back to my experience as a kid as being when I began to learn that Christ was the stranger at the door that we are given to love. I wasn’t crazy about any more siblings than I already had. My one brother was enough! Each one was different. Some couldn’t hit a baseball or sit still in a fishing boat. Maybe it was there that I learned ‘a spirit of adoption.’ My dad made it clear there was only one choice: to receive as sibling those I was given to love. Later he and his wife took in foster kids and we had several formative conversations and experiences about race.
We need persons who differ from us in our lives to show us our humanity. They reveal the face of Christ. Some are named Hakim and Gloria.
I had no idea that having two fathers and two mothers would bless me with perspective. I had no idea how much I needed to learn acceptance. (There is a privilege to ‘get over’ about being the oldest.) I had no idea that when my father was dying, I would have the help of a sister. I didn’t know I would be blessed by a spirit of adoption.
Underneath our differences is the sacred worth of all people. Powerful moneyed forces want to divide us, foreign and domestic, but today is Pentecost and we have a spirit of adoption. Practice being a Pentecost people.
the ones pushed aside
become a wall
Rev. Dan Schwerin