Verse of the Day: Adoption of sons

galatians-445

The Verse of the Day for December 12, 2013 is taken from Galatians 4:4-5 :

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Apropos of the Christmas season the passage brings to mind the birth of Jesus Christ through whom we have the adoption as sons.  Adoption is a legal process whereby adopted sons had the same rights and privileges as sons who were naturally born into a family. Indeed, as legally adopted sons we have the right to our father’s inheritance and that his citizenship entails.

The same expression is used in Romans 8:23-24:

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

This related passage is part of the introduction for an original poem written for a student in one the writing classes that I recently taught. It was an unusual class in that all seven of the students were nurses working on their bachelor’s degree. This particular student was a nurse in labor and delivery, an area where she loved to serve and where she hoped to someday become a nurse practitioner.

The French have a word that describes a female attendant at a birthing, une accoucheuse, a phrase that is used in the title of the poem came to mind as I reflected upon the two passages related to giving birth.

Une accoucheuse* with hands to bless

For we know that the whole creation groans and labors

with birth pangs together until now.

 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the  Spirit,

even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting

 for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

Romans 8:23-24

Your delight is to assist in bringing forth new life,

To observe, to help monitor the birthing process,

As a nurse practitioner, a kind of midwife,

As the French would say, “une accoucheuse,” with hands to bless

And bear witness of the golden aura of God’s glory:

Unbearable pain transformed into unspeakable joy.

The wonder of creation astounds in all you see,

Beholding the crowning entrance of each girl and boy.

You find extreme pleasure in all the work that you do.

Your life’s work is your great reward beyond any wage.

After countless times, each labor and delivery is new,

As tears of joy overflow throughout the final stage.

The whole of God’s creation, all of heaven and earth,

Also wait to experience the miracle of childbirth.

So many of the songs of Christmas refer to the birth of the Jesus Christ, and one of my favorite is the spiritual “Children, Go Where I Send Thee.” Listen to this rousing rendition by contemporary Christian artist, Mandisa. The lyrics begin and end with a reference to “the little biddy baby who was born, born, born in Bethlehem.”

During this season we are continually reminded of the birth of the Savior who came forth in the fullness of time that we might have the adoption as sons.

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