Romans 8:15 “15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” “ (NASB)

It is hard to imagine a place more disheartening than an orphanage.   The image of a child who has lost everything, crying out in the night for parents who are no longer there is enough to move even the most stoic to tears.  

It is into that place of despair that each of us has fallen.  Sin has made every person into a spiritual orphan, unable to rescue themselves from the darkness and isolation that defines their spiritual reality.   

The thing about an orphan is that they cannot adopt themselves.  No matter how many schemes they come up with, no matter how good they try to be, no matter how well they study and try to better the situation, at the end of the day, nothing that they do will rescue them from being an orphan.  

The only way an orphan can stop being an orphan, the only way their circumstances will change, is for someone to come and adopt them.  

That is the message of Advent. 

That is the reason we celebrate Christmas. 

The story is more than shepherds, donkeys, wise men and stars.  It is more than a retelling of things that happened to people over 2000 years ago.  It is the story of a God who loved us so much, that He did what we couldn’t do for ourselves.  He adopted us and became not just our God, but our Father.