God promised Abraham that in him “all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). From the very beginning, God’s promise to Abraham encompassed every ethnic and racial group.
Jump ahead 1,800+ years.
When Paul wrote Galatians 3:7-8, Jesus had already completed his redemptive mission by living, dying, and being raised from the dead.
The result of Jesus’ redemptive achievement is the fulfillment of God’s promise that in Abraham all the families of the earth would be blessed: “Know then that it is those of faith who are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed’” (Galatians 3:7-8).
If we’re not careful, we can step right over the significance of Paul’s words. Because of the work of Jesus to fulfill God’s promise to Abraham, a principal identifying mark of God’s family is that it is decidedly multi-ethnic — as multi-ethnic as it’s possible to be!
Because of Jesus, the church is the theater of transracial adoption. It is the place where the drama of redemption — God’s work to adopt children from every ethnicity — is played out over and over again. The church is, as Kevin Vanhoozer writes, “the theater wherein the world sees God’s love played out time and time again” (The Drama of Doctrine, 400).
As Christians, we have the privilege of playing out this drama on both the macro and micro levels. The macro drama, of course, is the church itself. The universal church continually displays the drama of the multi-ethnic family of God for all the world to see. There’s nothing like this macro drama to be found in all of human history.
But there is also a micro drama in which families within each local church can participate. No, God does not call every Christian family to adopt, transracially or otherwise. But the families God does call to adopt transracially have the privilege of being a micro-theater of the macro-drama of redemption for their communities to see.
The earthly practice of transracial adoption is much more than a way to build a family. It’s an opportunity to display the grand story of redemption before a watching world.
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