1/12/20 – “Who are the Real Parents?”

Posted on : Jan 9th, 2020 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

One of my favorite God Is Still Speaking writers is Quinn Caldwell. Quinn and his husband adopted a son.  They are fabulous parents.  Here’s a story Quinn tells about his family that I know many parents can relate to.

Quinn G. Caldwell

Every once in a while, some well-meaning person of goodwill will refer to my son’s birth parents as his “real” parents. They almost always catch themselves with a hand over their mouths as soon as the word passes their lips, and apologize. Nevertheless, you can imagine how I feel about the implications of the statement.

And yet, of course I can see how people’s minds are working. In our world and families, so much depends on biological connection. Crowds used to watch queens give birth, to make certain the baby wasn’t switched and therefore had the necessary royal blood. Trashy daytime talk shows make a mint on those paternity test shows . . . as do high-end retailers, who sell genetics kits that promise to tell you exactly where in the world your ancestors are all from (spoiler alert: it’s not where your grandmother claimed).

People act like there’s something mystical about the blood that parents and children share. Perhaps there is, but the clear witness of the Bible is this: for God, adoption matters more than blood. And I’m not just talking about Moses, Esther, Jesus, and the other important biblical adoptees. I’m talking about something larger, which Paul says  in Galatians: whatever family, race, or religion we inherited by blood, our real Parent isn’t finally the one to whom we’re genetically related, but the one who adopts us and makes us heirs to the greatest of estates.

This doesn’t mean you have to leave your bio-family behind, of course; God’s fine with open adoptions and you can totally still be in touch. It just means that in what happened with Jesus, “real” got redefined.

How beautifully true and appropriate are those words for this coming Sunday as we celebrate the Baptism of the adopted child, Jesus; and the Baptism of the adopted son, Armon.  And just to widen the circle, the adoption of each of us as a beloved child of God.



Mark 1: 4-11
Mark tells of Jesus’ baptism
by John.

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Child; with you I am well pleased.”



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