Skip to main content

who we are

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,


cathyq said…
So true Greg. "For God so loved..." Such a simple message, yet so difficult for us to grasp and believe. We all need to learn to live in His love; now that would be amazing! The book sounds great; I may have to add it to my long list of must reads!

Popular posts from this blog


i made these comments and prayed the following prayer at one of our worship services at SPWF yesterday, and had a few folks asked if i would post them, so there they are: 
It has been a season of terrible tragedy.  And I have noticed in the news a trending phrase: thoughts and prayers.  It even has its own hashtag on twitter and other social media, but net necessarily in a good way.  People are understandably tired of hearing about others’ thoughts and prayers, when that is only a thinly-veiled way of saying that our only obligation to those who suffer is a brief moment of silence, or nothing more than a tweet or public statement.  The truth is that, for those of us who follow Jesus, much is required when our neighbors suffer.  We are called to do justice where we can, to love kindness and mercy, and to walk with God through it all.  But let us be careful not to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater.  We are, as people of faith, those who know that prayer is not simply an em…

a divided tree

there is a tree in my back yard.  i'm pretty sure it's an oak tree.  at least that's what i think Shannon told me.  i don't know my oaks from my maples, my elms from my locusts.  to me, it's a tree: a corinthian column bursting up into life and glory.  full of sap and pulp and rings and bugs and cells pulsing with water and always reaching for something.  it is full of rhythm, reach and flourish then fall and die, and repeat. 

this particular tree, though, isn't of one mind. 

half of it's rusted orange leaves have given up their grip and surrendered -gracefully or not - to the pull of gravity and the threat of winter.  the north side of this inauspicious oak is just about bare naked, all sticks and straight lines, a skeleton of itself.  but the side that looks south is stubbornly resisting change.  no longer green, the leaves have compromised their summer vibrancy, but they are clearly not ready to concede death just yet. 

i feel like i can relate to this …

thankful right now

"if the only prayer you ever say in your life is 'thank you,' it will be enough." -Meister Eckhart

"thanksgiving is inseparable from prayer." -John Wesley

i've been thinking about gratitude quite a bit this week, and how to foster a thankful spirit in the midst of the barrage of bad news that for me is punctuated by yet another "breaking news" notification on my phone, interrupting the busyness of my day to rudely remind me that the world's brokenness knows nothing of limits or boundaries, not to mention my schedule or sanity.  still, the bad news keeps coming. 

i just scrolled through my most recent notifications just from the last few days and they contain phrases like "crimes against humanity," "57 million users hacked, but not reported," "alleged pattern of sexual abuse," and "extremely disturbing," just to name a few.  how am i supposed to be present at a staff meeting when my phone is buzzing …