For our second Sunday in 2017, Brandon Clements shared with us the vision that our church family has been fostering to partner with local organizations through our Serve the City initiatives. For our family at Midtown Lexington specifically, we have been partnering with DSS Lexington over the past several months to serve both the staff of DSS and the families that are a part of the foster care system in Lexington County.
This week, Brandon led our family in a sermon about our vision to be an adopting church. Sharing the story of how Brandon and Kristi came to adopt their son Jeremiah over the past year, Brandon reminded us how the heart of the Gospel is really an adoption story in itself. We took a look at James 1:27 to solidify the idea.
“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
For Brandon and Kristi both, the affliction of a child was made clear to them in the life of their son Jeremiah. Jeremiah inherited enormous amounts of pain that will not be contained to Jeremiah alone. The Clements were passed on the affliction that their son carried with them that they never knew was there.
Can you see God’s heart for His children in the way He adopts us out of our affliction through the cross of Jesus? The reason adoption is so representative of the gospel is because of the nature of chosen suffering. Chosen suffering is necessary for adoption, and it is exactly the road that Jesus walked for us by taking on suffering He didn’t deserve on our behalf so that we could be family with Him. The gospel is not painless, but choosing to take on pain for someone else’s benefit through adoption shows us this in ways we can’t know otherwise.
This is the manifestation of the Gospel through an adoption story. It’s facing a child or widow in affliction and saying,
“We will take your affliction.”
“We will take the very real pain you have from not having a family.”
“We will weep over you so you won’t have to.”
This is one of the biggest reasons we’ve decided to partner with DSS here in Lexington. To have a consistent way to serve the fatherless in our area, to serve the people who serve the fatherless, and to have a constant reminder that visiting orphans in their affliction is the story of the gospel. That is our prayer for our church family this year and forever. We pray that our family would be passionate about both serving and adopting those caught up in affliction without a family of their own; that we would choose to take on their suffering so they don’t have to. Let it be so in Lexington and in the Church.
Songs from This Week:
Grace Alone- Citizens and Saints
Build My Life- Housefires
Jesus Thank You- Sovereign Grace Music
What a Beautiful Name- Hillsong Worship w/ Brooke Ligertwood