i'm leading a lenten study of this book by henri nouwen, life of the beloved. 18 of us have been gathering to discuss the simple-yet-profound truths found in this book. part of the book focuses on the four 'verbs of bread' associated with the last supper when jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to his disciples.
last night we discussed the chapter about being taken, or chosen. and we had some great conversation about just how radical it really is to believe that God has chosen each one of us from before our birth (psalm 139); chosen to create us and sustain us and journey with us and love us. but the great challenge with this is remembering who we are as God's beloved children in the midst of a world full of voices that are telling us otherwise. we are told we are consumers, or we are our job, or we are no good, or we are too (something). we are just smothered in lies about who we are and it is so difficult to hear God's voice in the midst of all of that saying, "you are my beloved child. i choose you."
and my main reflection on that today, quite simply, is that i want the church to be about that work. i wish the church was better at being a hearing aid for folks. that when they are at church or at a potluck dinner or working at the food pantry or raking leaves or praying over our community, or doing anything the church does, i wish the church would be a stronger voice telling people that they are beloved children of God. no matter what the world says. no matter what your parents said. no matter what your spouse said. no matter what you think the mirror says. no matter what you've done. while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (romans 5). we need to help other people see how much God loves them, but we can't do that until we we learn to claim our identity as adored children of God first.
that's just my thought for today.
grace and peace,