By Pastor Riccardo Stewart
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 ESV)
It is nearly impossible for me to hear the title “Everlasting Father” without thinking of the phrase “forever home.” Over the past few years as a church, as we have been engaging the foster care crisis in our state, I have heard the that phrase “forever home” countless times. The words “father” and “home” should refer to something experienced simultaneously, but, sadly, that is not always the reality. At some point in a child’s life, something went wrong and needs to be made right in order for them to live in a “forever home.”
The overarching story in the Bible tells us that we are separated from our Father and that our home has long been in a state that is not the way it’s supposed to be. In the Old Testament, God’s people, living away from home in exile, awaited a Savior who would reconcile them to their good Father and give them a great home.
The thought of living in a house with the uncertainty of it being a “forever home” with a forever father would be difficult for anyone. I can only imagine the unfulfilled and empty promises that have left many kids in the foster care system hurt and abandoned. As Christians, we often say or hear the phrase “this is not my home,” in reference to our material world. The phrase attempts to communicate that God will come and take us away to a forever home. However, the Bible teaches that our everlasting Father is coming to us, and we can come to know him through the life, death, and resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ. Through Jesus, we realize that we have an everlasting Father who desires to live with us in an everlasting home. This everlasting home is actually going to be heaven here on earth.
Isaiah, prophesying 750 years before the birth of Christ, lets us know that in Jesus, we would be given a forever home with a forever Father. As the Messiah, Jesus welcomes us into his forever family, and through his sacrifice, we become adopted with God as our forever Father. This is a promise that has been fulfilled through the power of the Holy Spirit, the work of Jesus Christ and the amazing love of the everlasting Father. The title given “Everlasting Father” communicates protections and provision that will last forever. Forever begins with faith in Jesus and continues in eternity with God as our Father.
Adoption is the highest privilege of the gospel, as we, spiritual orphans, are welcomed into the family and home of God…FOREVER.