by Sarah Brock
AM Psalm 1, 2, 3 PM Psalm 4, 7
Isaiah 40:12-23; Ephesians 1:1-14; Mark 1:1-13
“‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’” Mark 1:11
We are all beloved children of God. This can be hard to remember sometimes. Especially when someone hurts or annoys or angers us. The irate customers, incompetent bosses, nosy neighbors, disappointing relatives, and terrible fellow drivers inclueded.
We are all beloved children of God. But, as hard as it often is to acknowledge this about the people we encounter, it’s just as hard to believe it about ourselves. Sure we may say the words, ‘God loves me’ out loud and we’ve probably all sung the song ‘Jesus Loves Me’ at some point in our lives. Saying and singing these words is easy compared to truly, deeply feeling God’s love in our souls. Bombarded day in and day out with media to tell us all the things that are ‘wrong’ about us. All the imperfections, some real and some imagined, that need to be fixed make it hard to see our selves as God sees us. And it’s easy to get hung up on all the ways we’ve screwed up through the course of the day. It’s difficult to see beyond the mistakes we make and the people we hurt. To see our true selves. To see what God sees- mistakes and imperfections and beauty and all.
“‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’” Immediately after hearing these words of love and encouragement, Jesus is driven out into the wilderness by the Spirit. There he spends forty days confronting his weaknesses and keeping temptation at bay. I imagine he also questioned his worthiness. Perhaps Jesus, too, found it difficult to see himself as God’s own. Perhaps he struggled to feel the full power of God’s love as he faced his own vulnerability.
It’s one thing to speak God’s love, another to know it, and entirely different to feel it deep in your soul. I have rarely, and maybe this is true for you too, set aside time and space to just be loved. Whether that love comes to us in a kind gesture from a neighbor, a hug at just the right moment, or in the silence of a holy place, it’s always there embedded in our souls. Flooding into our awareness, sometimes when we least expect it. You are a beloved child of God. I am a beloved child of God. We are all beloved children of God.
Sarah Brock, embarking on her first writing adventure with Episcopal Cafe, lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
Image: Baptism of Christ Wikimedia