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Beloved- our truest name

Take a few moments today and look in a mirror into your own eyes and say, “I am God’s beloved.”. Take a deep breath and look into your own eyes in the mirror and say to yourself, this next statement, “You are God’s beloved.” Using these words - hearing them from both the “I am" and “you are” has the power to change how we are in that moment and how we show up for the day. It’s a practice. I am God’s beloved. You are God’s beloved. Remembering who we are and whose we are. Remembering how God has called us to live. We get to then leave looking in the mirror to go look into the eyes of everyone and every living creature remembering and repeating these statements. I am God’s beloved. You are God’s beloved.

This practice isn’t about building self-esteem or using personal affirmations- it is taking to heart God’s word about His Son and about us. Beloved. As beloved children of God we get to show up baptized and set free. The epiphany of whose we are and who we truly are, can then inform how we show up each day in the world.

Let this be the wake up, epiphany moment, to set you out purposefully to share the good news with others. I am a God’s beloved. You are God’s beloved. Let it set you free from your fears and judgments of others. I am God’s beloved. You are God’s beloved. Keep letting the water in which you bath, brush your teeth, and wash your hands be reminders of the God who loves you beyond measure and has come to you in the flesh in Jesus. In the gospel reading for this weekend on the Baptism of Jesus these 3 words struck me, Then he consented. John the Baptist consented. He let go. John the Baptist thought it improper for him to be the one baptizing Jesus. This didn’t make sense, wasn’t working out the way John thought it would but then he consented. He listened to the directions of Jesus to “Let it be so now….”.

Here it is— so simple and incredibly challenging. At the heart of trusting, we and every human being in created in God’s image-we practice showing up differently in the world. And God knows (and we will get to hear more about this next week) that there is wilderness and wild-ness and brokenness in this world. To affirm that we are all God’s beloved, created in God’s image, isn’t to condone or wash over and pretend that both we and others don't do many things, say things and show up in this world that breaks God’s heart and every commandment given. We sin. We hurt one another. We hurt God. It is into our very broken world that the Christ child has come. As God’s beloved it is not our strength, our willpower, our ways - it is a path of letting go, Let it be so now. We let those same waters drown and put to death our brokenness, our fears, our sorrow, our sin, our anger, our separating ourselves from God, our trying to play god, our disbelief that God’s love is this powerful. Washed away and replaced with living water, baptismal water with God's word. You are my beloved.

God has created us beloved. God comes to us in the flesh, in our own form, to inform us that we are God’s beloved. And there is nothing we did to make that happen. There is nothing we can do to stop it from being our truest identity. There is tremendous power in naming this for ourselves and for one another and for the one’s we don’t even know. It sets us free. We are God’s beloved. You belong to God. I belong to God. We belong to God. Live this way and it will be a game changer, a life changer. When anger erupts, when fear erodes, when joy overwhelms know that each and every one of these feelings will pass and what will remain forever and always - your truest self and identity as God’s beloved. Live this way, set free. And when we fail, when we forget, we return and look at our own reflection in the baptismal waters and we start fresh. We are reminded and we remember- I am God's beloved. You are God's beloved. We are God's beloved.

p.s. The song in the video above kept coming to mind as I was writing this-- so I share it with you as some of the fuel for the journey as music often speaks deep into our hearts. This week in the tumult of many events these words came to mind “No storm can shake my inmost calm While to that refuge clinging; Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, How can I keep from singing?”

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