May is National Foster Care awareness month.
I didn’t realize that. I just learned about it the other day. But I am glad for the reminder to step back and think about the opportunity to think about ways we can show love to people who are in really difficult situations.
Sometimes when people think about ministries like foster care and adoption, it stirs up guilt in them. “I should do more! Why am I not more caring?” And while I am sure there’s a time for self-evaluation, I think, as believers, it is usually better to come at this subject the other way around.
Dan Cruver writes,
As Christians, we should be moved and empowered to visit the fatherless because God himself visited us when we were without hope in this world (Ephesians 2:11-13).
Did you notice where he starts? He starts with God’s love for us.
This is one reason I love being reminded about the opportunities to help care for orphans and others in vulnerable situations. I know there’s more I can do. There’s always more. And if I just look at myself and ways I am not doing enough, yes, it can be discouraging. But we have to start by looking at God and His love for us. God doesn’t love you because you cared for orphans so perfectly. He loves you. And He has shown His love to you in an amazing way and when you are enjoying how much He loves you, you want to show that love to others.
And there are a million different creative ways you can come up with, I am sure. Cruver continues,
For some, this visiting will mean adoption; for others, it may involve helping others adopt or joining with other Christians to provide some form of humanitarian aid or support for orphaned and vulnerable children.
(And we could add many other ideas to his list. E.g. praying for foster care parents, hospitality, baby-sitting, and on and on.) But the point is,
however we Christians are involved in visiting orphans in their affliction, it should be Christianity’s vertical to horizontal movement that moves us out in compassion. Christians should not only be the most loving, forgiving and welcoming people on the planet, we should also be the most orphan-caring.
In other words, those who know God’s love the best should show God’s love the most. Right? And if I am going to grow in showing God’s love, it starts with growing in knowing God’s love. And that is pretty exciting!
Well, all that said, and this Sunday’s sermon isn’t even about foster care. It’s about the Old Testament. But we are looking at the Old Testament to get a better appreciation of the love God has shown in sending Jesus. So there’s some connection!
Looking forward to being with you soon,
This Sunday is going to be maybe a little more challenging again for the kids. But here are a few helps:
Instead of listening for one particular word in the message maybe you can print something out and have your children circle when I say the following words:
For helping your kids learn from these sermons, maybe ask them the following questions:
What is the kingdom of God?
God’s people in God’s place experiencing God’s presence is a pretty good definition.
Where is the first gospel promise?
Where is the first covenant in the Bible?
The first time the word covenant is used is in regards to a promise God made to Noah.
Where is the Abrahamic covenant?
What did God say He would make Israel if they obeyed?
A treasured possession, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
Did Israel keep their promise to God?
No! They did not obey.
God responded to Israel’s disobedience by making another promise to someone named David. This is called the Davidic covenant. What did God promise David?
There’s a long answer to this, but if they say that one of his descendants would be a forever king, that would be a great answer.
What were the people in Jesus’ day hoping God would do?
Keep the promises He made through the prophets and send the Messiah to defeat Rome and establish His kingdom.
What was the big problem that Jesus had to deal with before He could establish the kingdom of God?
Sin and death
And then I thought you might appreciate a couple links to helpful resources: