During the season of Advent, I am going to do something new on the blog. I am going to try my best to offer a daily reflection here as we journey through this season together. To help frame the devotions I have been using hashtags designed by a group with the Episcopalian church. For example, the hashtag assigned for today is #Beloved.
I have been a bit delayed in keeping up with these daily devotionals in part because it’s a busy time of year at work, but also I have been busy writing an essay as part of a process to potentially be rostered in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as an Associate in Ministry. In writing that essay, I have had the opportunity to repeat my basic theological understandings.
In that essay I begin by writing, “We are all created and loved Children of God. This is the core of my theological understanding. I believe that God is in relationship with us, whether we recognize this or not. We are also in relationship with each other, because we are all children of God. This shapes what I refer to as a theological conviction of ‘neighbor love.’ This conviction is grounded in baptism and expressed in vocation and stewardship.”
This is on my mind today as I think about what it means to be beloved. I have the words from 1 John 4:7-21 ringing in the back of my mind, especially from verse 7, “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” It’s with this in mind that I feel I can do nothing else than join in the larger church tomorrow, Sunday December 14th in “Black Lives Matter Sunday,” by wearing black in solidarity and praying for an end to racism in a continuing effort to address systemic racism in church and society.
Violence, oppression, racism… these are all signs of brokenness of which we all must work to change and defeat. How do you defeat these? The only way I know how is love, and an active love which causes us to act- through word and deed. We cannot keep silent. Pastors cannot keep silent in the pulpit and we cannot keep silent in our daily lives. This is a central part of our faith. What we believe leads us and compels us to act and respond.
How do you respond to injustice in your daily life? How do you remember that you are beloved child of God? And how do you remind others that they are beloved children of God as well?
Image Credit: Beloved…