One Sunday, when my siblings and I were already adults, my dad (who was a pastor) called my sister up onto the platform and asked her, “What does Daddy think of you?”
She was taken by surprise, but her immediate response was, “I am as precious-as-can-be.” Dad had instilled in each of us a certain sense that we are beloved.
In the book of Matthew, we read the story of Jesus coming to John to be baptized.
Jesus goes into the water and when he comes out it says that “heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.” And then, a voice from heaven said,
“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:17)
These words are repeated in Matthew 17:5, when a voice from heaven says,
“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.
Listen to him!” (Matt. 17:5)
I am struck by these words that were spoken over Jesus. I am struck by the feeling that this is something the Father could not contain.
There is a sense of bedrock here – words that will always be true, and cannot be made un-true.
And, I believe that this word that was spoken over Jesus, is also spoken over you and me.
We are Beloved of God, and we are The Beloved. This truth is deeper than any other feeling of unworthiness or guilt or doubt we may have.
This proclamation is more than a nice thought. In a world that often asks us to prove our worth, the Father who spoke this blessing over Jesus now speaks it over you and me:
“This is my Beloved”. This is the truth of who I am.
In times of uncertainty it is good to remember those things that do not change.
See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children,
and that is what we are! 1 John 3:1a
Inhale: I am Beloved by God.
Exhale: I am “the Beloved.”
That is what I would have said…