"he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will" Ephesians 1.5
At Elgol Café Church yesterday, parish development assistant, Jackie MacLennan, spoke movingly about her double adoption: physically as a baby and then spiritually when she received Jesus as Saviour and Lord. What a refreshing testimony! There can be a tendency to pity those put up for adoption, as if they have been rejected. Jackie put the emphasis the other way around: that in her adoption she was being chosen.
Without sweeping the negative aspects of life under the carpet, it is helpful to see the positives when we can. This helps prevent us from becoming victims to circumstances beyond our control and sets us up for getting to grips with our circumstances - to the extent that we may even be able to turn what used to be stumbling blocks into stepping stones. This is what happens when, instead of feeling sorry for ourselves, we allow difficult experiences to become life lessons.
At the aforementioned Café Church yesterday, we looked at the passage in John, chapter 21, where Jesus appears to the disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. After transforming their fishing expedition and serving them breakfast on the beach, Jesus takes Simon Peter aside and restores his confidence through reassuring him of forgiveness following his triple betrayal. As a result, Peter is a changed man: liberated from his shame and free to fulfil his vocation as a leader in the church.
This can become the story of everyone who receives Jesus as Saviour and Lord: freedom from guilt in order to flourish as those who have been chosen by God to be beloved sons and daughters.