Last week I attended an excellent event on ‘Adoption, Justification and the Hospitality of God’, which was run by Home for Good, the EA, and St Millitus College. The purpose was to reflect theologically on adoption both as a ‘vertical’ phenomenon (being adopted into God’s family) and as a ‘horizontal’ act of fostering and adoption.
We were treated to a number of different talks from a range of eminent scholars and perspectives. With that fresh in my mind I came back to Redcliffe to teach two different OT classes (one on Isaiah and one on Genesis 1-12) and tried to reflect on what we were reading in the text in the light of what I had been hearing yesterday. Here are a couple of brief reflections:
We were looking at Isa. 61 and considering the transformation God promised to the Israelites, but how it is indicative of the kind of work that is indicative of who God and, therefore, the kinds of work he calls us to. I enjoyed a quote from Walter Brueggemann on vv. 1-4:
there is a series of infinitive verbs to inventory what this empowered human agent will do: “to bring, to bind up, to proclaim, to release, to proclaim, to comfort, to provide, to give” (vv. 1b-3). All of these actions are powerful ministries to the weak, the powerless, and the marginalised to restore them to full function in a community of well-being and joy.
Genesis 1-12 class
We were looking at this video by David Firth, who highlights ‘alienation’ as a result of the sin in Gen. 3 and a key motif in what is wrong with the world and reflected on how the gospel is a transformation of bringing into relationship what has been alienated.
In both cases it struck me that the Old Testament has a profound and enormous capacity to speak into the critical questions concerning the care of vulnerable children. There was a sense coming from the conference that there is much valuable work to be done in thinking theologically about adoption and fostering. I can’t wait to get stuck in.
To find out more about the initiative please visit: http://www.homeforgood.org.uk