Orphans No More

Steven Haguewood

Ms. Hanigan stands before the orphan girls and makes the statement, “For the life of me I can’t understand why anyone would want to be an orphan.” The movie Annie chronicles a young red-haired girl who lives the “hard knock” life with her orphan companions. She is adopted by a rich man who takes her in and offers her a new life. When she sees the opulence of the Warbuck Mansion she is taken aback. The servants try to take her coat, and she resists, not knowing that a brand new one waits for her. Annie struggles between the life of opulence and oppression, hanging on to the old because of her uncertainty about the new.

This is reminiscent of the life humans live and choices we make everyday. The wonderful thing is that God promises that He will not leave us orphans (John 14:18). In Matthew 28:20, He promises to be with us “even to the end of the age.” He has given us the opportunity to have a spiritual family. Ephesians 1:5 says that we received adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ by God’s good will. Orphans desire to be adopted, and we have the Father who wants to adopt us into His family if we will obey His will.

We, too, stand looking at the opulence of God’s family and resist because of our uncertainty. We hang on to earthly things when heavenly places are far better. The description of heaven in Revelation 21 is a jaw-dropping scene. Gates twelve feet tall made of a single pearl, roads of gold polished so that they have a mirrored finish, showing the reflection of the beauty that rests on them. The foundation stones such as man could not possess make us look upon them in awe, but we stand at the door and look instead of going in.

We hang on to the lives we lived in the world. As Annie desired to hold on to the only coat she possessed, we hold on to the clothing we have spread over ourselves on earth. Isaiah describes what the Christian life will be like. In 1:18 he says, “Come now and let us reason together, says the Lord, though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool.” The new self you put on in baptism (Romans 6:4) will be a better one, cleaner and purer than the old one that the blood of Christ removes. So why hang on to the old one that is not as good and give up the new one that is perfect in Christ?

Isaiah 1:19 says that the new life is only given to the one who will consent and obey. Romans 6 says that consent and obedience begin when we are buried with Christ into His death at baptism. The point of contact for the blood of Christ which gives us grace and the new life in Him is baptism. Baptism saves and is the answer of the good conscience toward God (1 Peter 3:21). 

If you have not been baptized for the remission of your sins I would refer you back to the words of Ms. Hanigan, “For the life of me I can’t understand why someone would want to be an orphan.” -1301 West Virginia Ave., Parkersburg, WV 26104.

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