Day 7/December 31 Devotion

Reflection by Pastor & Mission Developer Garrett Wolf, King of Kings, Dulles South, VA

“Happy New Year!” Those are the words we will shout in just a few short hours. I don’t think I have ever wanted to say those words more. Saying goodbye to 2020 and hello to a brand new year seems promising. For many of us, it is hard to put into words all that we have experienced in 2020. At times, I felt like I was one of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness. Those things that often make me feel safe, comfortable, and secure, were ripped away, and I found myself in places of tremendous discomfort, insecurity, and vulnerability. Yet, I wonder if what I experienced this year, and maybe what we all have experienced, is part of what it really means to be truly human; to find ourselves both dependent on others and one upon whom others depend.

Can you imagine how 40 years of this might shape humanity for generations to come? Perhaps, in this frightening thought is what it means to move beyond a spirit of fear and into one of adoption. As we discover our interconnectedness, we become participants in an inheritance far beyond anything we alone can imagine. Waves of liberation, redemption, and renewal come because we stand on the promises of the One and ones with whom we are heirs.

Romans 8:15-17

“For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.”

Pause and let those statements sink in for a moment. Read them again if needed.

Questions to Ponder

  1. What does it mean to receive the spirit of adoption? How does this cast out fear?
  2. Paul shifts from singular to plural, stating we cry “Abba! Father!”. How does this reflect our interconnectedness and interdependency?
  3. What does it mean for us to be co-heirs with Christ, receiving the same inheritance and rewards which Christ deserves? How might this push us beyond fear towards participation?

Silence for Reflection

Prayer

Let us pray: God of liberation and freedom, free us from the shackles of fear and wrap us in your promise of perfect love. Grant us courage to participate in the unfolding Kingdom that surrounds us. As we are swept off our feet, may we rest assured knowing that the One who has always carried us still holds onto us today. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, we pray. Amen.