What is it with these "vulnerable" people?
those who are "vulnerable, relative to ourselves" (And by golly, we
Christians make ad0pting vulnerable people an even higher priority
than reproduction! Right?) But just who are they? What's so
significant about 'vulnerability' and why should Christians care
about 'vulnerable' people?
Well, duh! Compare yourself to The Eternal Living God in Christ.
Are you 'vulnerable', relative to Him? So, what does HE do on
behalf of those who are 'vulnerable' relative to God? (C'mon,
c'mon, you read the Bible. What's it say?) Well, beginning
WAAAAAAY back at the start of the Bible, God shows up with
this 'adoption thing' for just about anybody that's vulnerable.
Take the old "Mistake with the Snake" story, with guest
appearances by Adam and Eve. When they made themselves
unwelcomed in the Garden, who shows up with "garments of
skin for Adam and his wife'? (Ge 3:1-24) And even though Adam
and Eve had blown their first job assignment, who was it that made
it possible for them to have a lower tier (though not all together
unmeaningful) position to work out a modest living on some of God's
other property (though they had NO prior experience and while they
still paid NO taxes)? That 'who' would be The Almighty God, Himself.
And they were no longer what He had created! They belonged to NO
ONE! But, whether we like it or not, God 'adopted' them!
Okay, now, flash forward to the time of the ancient Israelites.
(Exodus 4:22 and reference Hosea 11:1) Those folks were NO
people but the Living God made them HIS people. Accept it! He
They were vulnerable, they were oppressed and NO, they didn't
deserve God's favor (Do you? Do I?) But HE claimed them with
all of their diseases, all of their whining, all of their blindness (and
their pitiful flat bread, to). Do you get the picture? He ADOPTED
a WHOLE NATION! (Though I probably would have encouraged
Him to include a clause limiting His liabilities.)
Now, it seems these days that bunches of so-called 'Christians'
want there to be an 'Old Testament' without there being a 'New
Testament'. Sorry, if you're really a Christian, it doesn't work
that way. (Back in my day, we were trying to have a New
Testament without having an Old Testament. It doesn't work that
way either!) So, the Old Testament necessarily points to the New
Testament and the New Testament is ALL ABOUT the Cross.
There's no way around it. And the Cross (and the resurrection of
Jesus) is all about the end of the world as you and I and everyone
else has known it! The Cross is all about The Eternal Living God
making a way for you and me to be 'adopted' (reconciled) into the
family of God. By the blood of The Lamb, you and I have been given
a new bloodline and a new family! That's the END of the old way and
the old world! (Did you guys notice?)
We who were NO people are now - by rebirth and by Grace through
faith - HIS people. (Now, just what part of God's adoption of you
and me do you not understand?)
You didn't deserve it and neither did I. It's, umm, what those
theological people call "unmerited Grace" (hey, it works for
me). We're now a part of God's family!
Now, do we HAVE to adopt, just because we've been adopted?
Let me put it this way: my interpretation of John 13:34 is
Jesus saying "YOU WILL adopt others, just as I have adopted
you". Now, God's commandments are all also promises when
they're empowered by The Holy Spirit. So, to me it's a pretty
clear sign that I've been REALLY adopted by God when I'm
motivated to adopt other people into His family. In other
words, The Holy Spirit enables me to live out that commandment
as a promise!
So, if I'm not interested in adopting vulnerable people into the
Family of my Heavenly Father, I have to wonder about my own
'adoption'. Can I even really be a Christian if I am not adoptive?
"Gee, what happened to my rejoicing at being claimed by The
One God Eternal? Where's my power to claim the 'vulnerable'
people as family?" (Maybe I need another dose of 'adoption',
or maybe I need a BUNCH more of the Holy Spirit's indwelling,
"Wasn't I blessed to be a blessing? Wasn't I rescued to be a
rescuer?" Then, on the other hand I'm asking God, "Lord,
why can't all these icky 'vulnerable' people be more like me?"
And of course, the point is, those 'icky' vulnerable people are
EXACTLY like me and they need to be shown some of the same
unmerited Grace that "works" for me.
So, that's what "IT" is with these 'vulnerable' people. They ARE
my sisters and brothers. They ARE my sons and daughters and
if you are a Christian, they are YOUR family as well. Our calling
is to claim them, to ADOPT them. Anything that hinders my
doing exactly that is an idol. Yes, I have to work. God provides
resources to me through my work. I am to use those resources
on behalf of adopting vulnerable people, just as I have been
adopted. To a cynic, the 'vulnerable people' are the "low hanging
fruit". We should be able to get them into God's family easily! Are
they gonna be resource intensive? You betcha. But many of them
will be willing to be adopted into the Kingdom of God and will be
willing to adopt others, as well. Besides, vulnerable people are
LOOKING for mercy. The 'well-off' unchurched are not looking
for a Savior. Reaching the 'successful' people for the Kingdom of
Heaven is iffy ("why should they change?")
Nope, I can't tell you exactly how your adopting vulnerable people
will work out in your walk of faith. I will tell you very flatly that
adopting vulnerable people is REQUIRED of us while reproduction
is only a privilege. We Christians demonstrate our love for Christ
Jesus by obeying His commandments and by prioritizing His
commandments above our privileges. To behave otherwise is
"Adopt ye, one another, even as I have adopted you..."