A Beloved Community

Read: Romans 8:26-36

For I am sure that neither death nor life . . . nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (vv. 38-39)

I sat next to her with a tissue for her tears. Others had left the Good Friday service in silence, as requested. She stayed, weeping, lamenting Jesus’s suffering on the cross—suffering he endured for her sake (and mine, and yours). I shared with her that Jesus suffered so much because he loves so much. 1 John 3:1 says, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” You are God’s beloved, always and forever.

We may hear other messages about who we are, yet at the core of our identity is the truth that we are God’s beloved, loved more than we can know, independent of our worthiness. Guilt, shame, and pride can interfere with our sense of self and affect our relationships, with God and with others. The foundational understanding of God’s love, for us, and for everyone else, can provide a stable foundation on which to stand.

Ephesians 5:1-2 says, “Be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Wouldn’t it be beautiful if people walked into our churches and felt known and loved like that? This is our calling, to love as we are loved.

As you pray, ask God to help you embrace your true identity as a beloved child of God.

About the Author

Bonnie Nicholas, LMSW, retired in 2020 after serving as Director of Safe Church Ministry in the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Called into Community