The Ultimate Mark
It's time for MONDAY MANNA, hosted by our dear Joanne over at An Open Book. Please check out the other contributions that you'll find over there.
How do you know that you "belong?"
Yesterday I did a presentation in one of my supporting churches. After the service I had lunch with the chairman of the missions committee and his wife. As we talked I discovered that their two daughters had both been adopted from Russian orphanages. The oldest, about to graduate from high school, had been in the family since she was six years old.
How does she know she belongs to that family? There are documents to prove that she legally "belongs" to John and Anthea. But the documents are only paper. It's the love evident between the members of the family that make each one truly a member of the family.
Circumcision was the outward sign of what was to be an inward reality, something like baptism is supposed to be an outward sign of an inward reality. God knew that the outward sign was simply that—an outward sign. He knew that the real proof would be the heart change that no knife or submersion in water could ever truly illustrate.
"The Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live" —Deuteronomy 30:6.
It only takes a minute to sign a paper, to cut with a knife, to lower a person into the water. It takes both parties, dedicated to a lifetime of commitment following a critical moment of decision, to build a relationship.
And to make sure there are no mistakes it was God who wielded that cutting blade of sacrifice to put his mark on us.