Monday, October 29, 2007

Altogether Fitting and Proper

“It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.”--Abraham Lincoln 11/19/1863

This line was a part of Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address. This address was delivered in about
two minutes. Abraham Lincoln was a late addition to the speaking list as an afterthought but what he said
has become one of the most recognizable and moving speeches of all times. There were many long-winded
speeches that November day but the brevity and conciseness off Lincoln’s speech is the only one that is
remembered.

Much like the Gettysburg battlefield dedication people can make long-winded and deep hours long
dissertations on adoption, attachment, parenting, and the cost. Pictures can be shown and arguments can
be made for certain types of adoption. The discussion though can be simplified. “It is altogether fitting and
proper that we should do this.” Caring for the poor, sick and orphans is clearly commanded by God in James
2:15-17 “If a brother or sister be naked and in lack of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Go in peace, be
ye warmed and filled; and yet ye give them not the things needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith,
if it have not works, is dead in itself.”

James is clear that caring for the orphaned and poor is of God. The next question becomes what should the
model be for caring for the orphans. The clearest model for dealing with “lost children” or orphans is the
model God uses for us, those who have been reconciled to Him. In Galatians 4:4-6 Jesus was sent from the
Father so that we could become the “adopted sons of God.” It was because of the sacrifice of Jesus that we
can call God our “Abba” or daddy.

There is a promise given in John chapter 14 that Jesus was going to prepare a place for [us]. In verse 3
Jesus says that he will “receive [you] unto himself.” The Biblical model is clear. Jesus was not going to
prepare an orphanage for us so we could be institutionalized in “Heaven” and have God as our orphanage
director. He didn’t say he was building a foster home so that St. Peter or St. Paul could be our foster parents.
Jesus went to prepare a place for us the adopted sons of God. He went to prepare a place for us to be
comforted. Jesus came to earth as a child, suffered death through the crucifixion and was resurrected so that
we could call God our daddy. The model God chose for us was adoption.

There are 143,000,000 orphaned children according to the United Nations. The model God has chosen for
you and me forces us to ask the question: “What should be the model we use when dealing within orphaned
children?”

Steve Eimers

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