By Michael Roop
This Sunday, churches all around the world will celebrate World Orphan Sunday. This is a day set aside to remind ourselves that we worship a God who is “Father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5). All throughout Scripture, we see God’s special love for the vulnerable, for those who have no voice of their own.
We, who once were spiritual orphans, are recipients of this very love. Paul tells us that Christians “have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Romans 8:15). This tender term abba, not unlike daddy, characterizes our relationship with the Father because we are united with Christ by the Spirit. What a wonderful truth!
The love God has for the orphan, the very love we have experienced ourselves, should translate to our lives. James tells us that “religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction…” (James 1:27). Jesus tells us in Matthew 25 that our treatment of the vulnerable reveals our commitment to Him!
So this World Orphan Sunday, I want us to dream together of an Alachua County in which there is no such thing as an “unwanted child.” How would we get there? We would get there because those who have been adopted by the Father would be compelled by the grace they’ve experienced to extend grace to others, especially the most vulnerable among us.
How can you get involved? Well first, let me encourage you to take ten minutes to watch Foster, a short documentary made by Creekside member and foster parent Brian Sandusky. It will give you a wonderful insight into the world of foster and adoption.
Then, prayerfully consider partnering with one of the many organizations who serve the unwanted or forgotten little ones among us. Check out this list of support measures you can provide to foster parents in the area and consider which you might be able to provide. Or, maybe you should consider becoming foster parents yourself!
However you choose to be involved, let’s strive together to embody the love of the Father to the hurting and vulnerable in this world, the very same love we have received by His grace!