Spiritual Director · August 22, 2016

Affirm #3

Last week I had a great talk with my cousin Kim on the phone. I haven’t talked to her in… I don’t know how many years. Her husband is a pastor down in Texas. Kim and I are the same age and have a number of other cousins who were all born the same year (must have been a good year to have kids!)

Kim had sent me an email concerning our family tree and asked whether I’d be the point person for my dad’s family in getting her updated information. So far she’s traced our family line back to the early 1700’s. While talking with her, we shared stories of growing up and things we remembered. Our conversation was peppered with a lot of laughter.

I share that with you because as I was reading the in the book of Ezra today, I ran across some verses that described a group of people. Here’s what it said,

“… They weren’t able to prove their ancestry, whether they were true Israelites or not… They had thoroughly searched for their family records but couldn’t find them.” —Ezra 2:60,62

How unnerving would that be? Not being able to know where you came from, or who you were? Not being able to prove your existence?

Well, I happen to think there’s a lot of people who have that same problem in a spiritual manner. They’ve forgotten who they are. They’ve lost track of their family inheritance. They no longer have any records of their spiritual ancestry.

Now they may have lost that due to many circumstances and situations, but none-the-less, they no longer know they are children of God. They belong to a huge family where there’s plenty of love and care, but they’ve become disconnected. They’ve become spiritual orphans and most often we don’t do anything to bring them back into the family.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s what God says to you, to me, to them,

“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine.” — Isaiah 43:1

Jesus said,

“I will not leave you orphaned.” — John 14:18

So here’s my word of encouragement for you today

Do you know someone who needs a family? Maybe it’s you. Maybe it’s your coworker, neighbor, spouse, best friend. Why not welcome them home and introduce them to their family and let them know they belong!

We are Your children. You created us… You redeemed us… You empower us. Please remind us often how blessed we are to be in Your family. Thank You for adopting us. As You’re looking for those who are orphaned, open our eyes to see them too and invite them in as Your children. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

—Rev. Dr. M.M. Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.