Word From Pastor Christopher Brock
Luke 15:20, NIV
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him”
Whenever the topic of adoption was presented to me, one of the first images that would always come to my mind was the scene of the return of the prodigal son. I realize that this parable is not talking about adoption yet, the moment when the son was walking back and the father saw him and ran towards him always made me think about how our Father in heaven ran towards us and embraced us. He adopted us to become His children and to be co-heirs with Christ. This is a tremendous blessing and on that I believe we cannot fully comprehend.
In my own life I can remember the moment that Christ first became real to me and as a result, God also became real to me as my Father. There was a feeling of love, acceptance, and forgiveness that cannot be explained or understood. I knew beyond any doubt that I was now a part of God’s family and that there was nothing that could ever separate me from the love of my Father. It felt much like how the prodigal son must have felt when his father embraced him and walked him home. The story goes on to tell about how the father pulled out all of the stops for his son. He dressed him in his finest clothes, placed his own ring upon his hand, prepared the best food he had, and held the most amazing party ever to celebrate how his had come to him. That was the kind of love that I felt in that moment and the every moment since then.
Years later when my daughter and son were born and I held each of them for the first time I could not help but to think about the feeling that the father in this parable must have had. I know that years before I had experienced what it was like to come home to my heavenly Father and now, as I held my children I had a glimpse of what God must have felt when I returned to Him. It was a humbling experience and it opened my eyes more to just how much the Lord loves us and how much He desires to adopt each of us into His family.
It was several years after I had these experiences that the Lord opened the door for me to understand this topic of adoption in an even deeper way. After fourteen years of making many mistakes and chasing after everything but a deeper relationship with the Lord, the Lord again touched me and brought me closer to Him. Through this process I was blessed to meet and ultimately be married to the women who God had created for me. At the time that we were married, I had my two children and my wife also had a son. From the very beginning of our relationship we made the decision in our hearts that the three children that were now a part of our new family would never be viewed as separate. We would never use the word “step” to describe one or the other. We would embrace each child as our own and there would be no difference among them. What was ours would be theirs.
The first time I met my oldest son was when I went to visit my wife in Hong Kong, where she lived at the time that we first met. After I arrived, we went back to her apartment to get him before going out to eat and celebrate. As soon as we met he called me “daddy” and as we walked from the apartment building to the restaurant where would eat I took him in my arms, lifted him over my head, and sat him down on my shoulders. As I walked with him on my shoulders I was touched deeply in my heart as I experienced the same feeling of pride and joy that I had felt when I first held both my daughter and my youngest son. As I walked through the street and into the restaurant and I could see the people around me looking at me, in my mind I kept thinking “this is my son!!” It was one of the proudest moments that I have had in my life.
It will soon be five years since this event happened and I have had the joy of being a part of my oldest son’s life and watching and help him as he grows to become a man. There is no doubt that there have been challenges and trials, just as there are when raising any child, but I know that the relationship that I have with my oldest son is growing deeper year in and year out. This year, we will begin the process of legal adoption in which legally I will become his father. I know that this process is only a worldly process and it will end with us receiving a piece of paper saying that he is my son yet, this paper will only be telling what is already true.
Adoption is not something that happens in a court. It is not something that is comes as a result of a judge making a decision or because of what is printed on a piece of paper. Adoption is a matter of the heart and the best example that we can see of this heart is the heart of our Father in heaven. His heart towards us and His love for us is the love of a Father towards their children. He has adopted us into His family and made of co-heirs with His Son Jesus and I am blessed that I have had the opportunity to experience a small example of this love when I held each of my three children for the first time.