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Late last week Fr. Domadious of St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Church, DC came to give a spiritual word to Coptic Orphans staff.

He opened Romans 8:14-17.

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”  The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (ESV)

True orphans, he said, are not those who are without an earthly father, but without the Heavenly Father. In the Spirit we become one with Christ so intimately that we gain the same unique relationship that Christ has with the Father.

His words echoed St. John Chrysostom, who remarked in his sermon on John 14 that the Spirit inside us makes the presence of Christ and the Father much different, and so much superior, than a physical person with us.

Fr. Domadious continued, “Your work among Egypt’s fatherless is not only caring for the material needs of the children, but giving them the spirit of adoption.”

How do we do this?

Fr. Domadious opened Acts 6:3: “Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty.” (ESV)

The early apostles, like today’s clergy, knew that they could not meet every need. And all who are baptized are equally called to service, he told us. But those who spread the spirit of adoption should also receive it by getting close to Christ and becoming full of His Spirit.

Amen. For volunteers, staff, sponsors and supporters, may we all be filled with the Spirit that cries out, “Abba,” so that we may be moved by compassion to spread the same spiritual adoption to others.