One of my favorite movies growing up was “Annie.” I suppose that it might stem from my own adoption, although I was too young to do song and dance numbers about my life. It truly is a wonderful movie about being loved, wanted and chosen. A hope, that I think, we all have in this life.
Through the events leading to her adoption, Annie has moments that she’s quite unlovable, struggles to fit into her beliefs of what the expectations will be, she gets pulled back to her old life and ultimately has to make the choice herself to leave her past behind and be embraced into this new family.
Adoption. The very definition of making a conscious choice to love and to claim.
It makes this scripture feel different than our preconceived notion about just being born into Christianity.
“His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ” – Ephesians 1:5
We weren’t just created, but chosen to be adopted. Not because of who we were, but because of who He is.
Just like Annie, sometimes we have a formed opinion of who our true family is, but sometimes, family is messy. This messiness colors our beliefs on “family.” So our expectations of what this adoption will look like are based on what we wished for when our minds designed “family.”
After all, if we’ve been hurt, abandoned and neglected by family; how can we trust this adoption?
What if we say the wrong thing? What if we really screw up? What if we are quite unlovable and have run away many times?
“Jesus and the people he makes holy all belong to the same family. This is why he isn’t ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.” – Hebrews 2:11
I’m sure there have been times in your life that someone in your family messed up and you were embarrassed to claim them in public. Perhaps it was even you that were the one that your family was ashamed of. Our adoption into the Christian family means that Jesus is never ashamed of who we were, who we are or who we will become. We don’t get kicked out of the family, ever.
Some of us don’t have parents. Some of us don’t have siblings. Some of us couldn’t define “family” if it hit us square in the buttocks, but all of us have the choice of adoption. A new chance at a family that loves you regardless of who you are.
We have a Father who looks down at the sinner, the saint, the adorable and the unlovable, saying “I can’t choose, I’ll take them all.” He doesn’t see that beat up outer wrapper or the rap sheet we come with, He simply sees “His.”