Ephesians 1:4 - "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will..."
While studying the book of Ezekiel, I was suddenly overwhelmed with God's love for us. I set to writing and this story of the gospel came out.
All the people of the world are runaways in an orphanage. From time to time we see the child Israel turn up in the orphanage because she keeps running away from home. Israel is unlike all the other orphans, and is constantly picked on and beaten, but oddly she keeps coming back. Time and time again we've seen The Father arrive and retrieve the child Israel. He spanks her, but then lovingly pulls her into his mighty arms. Through their jealousy the other orphans hate her all the more.
One day the child Israel shows up in the orphanage, but The Father doesn't come to get her. She is forced to live under the tyranny of the other orphans for years. She feared that The Father had forsaken her. Suddenly a boy arrives claiming to be her brother. He is revealed to be the one and only Son of The Father. Instead of relief and gratitude, Israel is ashamed before the other orphans, afraid to be revealed as just another orphan, albeit an adopted one. Thus, Israel pushed the true son out of the orphanage.
However, the Son returned to the orphanage three days later to the children's shock and awe. The Father had filed with the orphanage to adopt them all, in fact that had always been his plan. All could go home with child Israel to the Father's house.
Israel and her friends were commissioned by the Son to go throughout the entire orphanage and tell all the runaways of this amazing news. Some went immediately, walking the grounds of the orphanage revealing to the runaways that their dreams have come true, that each one of them has been called by name, and a home with a loving Father awaits them.
Israel herself was torn. She was simultaneously glad for the others, but sad that she was no longer front and center. Part of her would continue to wait for The Father to come and wipe away the other children and establish her as the greatest. The other part saw that that the way home to The Father had always been through the Son. Despite her dissonance, she knew that The Father would always have a special place in his heart for her.
Other orphans refused to believe the news outright. Children could be seen pouting in the corner. Some ran away covering their ears, afraid to be hurt again. Others audaciously spurned the Son's invitation and rejected the adoption. One by one, child after child, they chose to remain where they were because they could not imagine life outside the orphanage. They were self-made boys and girls and they would make their own way, in their own time, under their own strength without the help of some crutch. Sadly many beat the messengers for their “lies.”
The runaways who have faith and run to the Son are taken home to the Father. Soon they are stripped of their orphan's clothes and dressed in splendor. To live in the Father's house they must live by the Father's rules and follow his instruction, but they know from living in the orphanage such boundaries exist for their own safety and protection. All they desire is to be in The Father's presence. In tears and sobbing they cannot express their gratitude at this amazing and unmerited grace bestowed upon them.
Which child are we?
Adoption as the children of God is a deep subject that the apostle Paul discusses at length, especially in his letter (epistle) to the Romans:
Romans 8:23 - "...we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies."
Romans 9:4-8 - "Theirs [the people of Israel] is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.
It is not as though God's word had failed. For all who are descended of from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, 'It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.' In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring."