It was a beautiful moment. I was glad that I was there to see it. Family and friends had gathered at the Juvenile Court for the proceedings. Little Asher was all smiles. I'm not sure if he understood the significance of the moment, but he certainly was enjoying it.
We all stood as the judge entered the room. For the next few minutes the court officials answered questions to ensure that all the legal requirements were taken care of. I looked around the room and love was bursting out all over. It was quite evident that the judge felt it too.
With a smile on her face she addressed the courtroom, she looked down at my niece and nephew and said, “I hope little Asher realizes just how fortunate he is. Not everyone gets a chance to be surrounded by a loving family like yours.” Then she thanked them.
She stopped just short of saying, “God bless you.” I added that as I said a prayer following the proceedings. My niece and nephew are pretty amazing and they have embraced Asher with a love that is so deep and all consuming. It's a love as wonderful as God's love for us.
The words of Paul's letter to the Ephesians came to mind as I drove away from the celebration. In chapter one he says that before the world was created, God already loved us so much that he decided that he was going to adopt us into his family. Imagine that!
God wants us to be a part of his family. The world can be a tough and cruel place. Yet God has offered us a home where we can receive all the blessings of his love and grace. He provides a space for us to grow and be nurtured so that we can live up to our potential.
Feeling a bit left out today? I want to invite you to come home. God loves you. He wants you to know his joy. If you aren't attending worship on a regular basis, find a church near you where you can experience what it means to be part of the family. You will be blessed!
The Rev. Cal Lord is pastor of Central Baptist Church of Westerly.