Time for a makeover?
As Christmas fades into last year and the New Year begins, many of us look with a sense of dread to our waistlines and bank balances – knowing with certainty that only one of them will have diminished. Of course at this time of year, with its fresh start, we often take the time to make some resolutions – to use that gym card we’ve left at the back of the wallet, to spend more time with family, to eat more healthily and lose a pound or six!
And it’s not just our bodies that often get some attention as we begin a new year – any channel-surfing on the television will often land upon one of the many strangely engaging property makeover programmes. One of my daughter’s favourites is “House Doctor”. In it, the ‘Doctor’ sweeps into a house that the owners can’t sell – paints it magnolia, adds a vase of twigs, removes all the photos, and hey presto – it sells in the next nine minutes.
Then there’s my personal favourite, “Homes under the Hammer”. This programme goes a stage further, and sees people buying old dilapidated properties at auction, gutting them and then selling or renting them as modern ‘des-res’, usually making a tidy profit. Whilst “House Doctor” dealt with the outward appearance of a property, “Homes under the Hammer” completely transformed it – inside and out.
In St Paul’s letter to the Galatians, Paul talks about the very real transformation that faith in Jesus brings to a human life; not just a cosmetic outward change, but a complete renewal, inside and out. So complete a transformation is this, that we actually change our status – from a slave to a child and an heir.
In Paul’s day, it was quite possible for a Roman nobleman to take one of his slaves and adopt them as a child. This adoption was complete, total and irreversible, with the adopted child receiving all the rights of a son, including inheritance rights, their status being exactly that of any natural children.
It was the highest honour and most transformative thing that could ever happen to any child, and this is the image that Paul uses for us in the Church. God, in restoring people to friendship with him through faith in Jesus, adopts them as his children – heirs with Christ.
In the early 1800’s an uneducated, drunken and violent Cornish tin miner, Billy Bray, remarkably came to faith in Christ. He became a fervent minister and preacher. His favourite saying was, “I am a prince. I am the adopted son of God. I am the adopted son of a king.”
This New Year may you know the renewing transformative power of God at work in your life as you encounter Him afresh, as His beloved and adopted child.
Priest in Charge Loves church pioneering, family, guitars, Macs, jeeps and Jesus, not necessarily in that order...