We were chosen as God’s children
“See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God.” (1 Jn 3:1)
IT WAS ON PAGE 35 of the toy catalog and I had it circled, folded and flagged. I was 8 years old, and I had my heart set on that Barbie Dream House. Knowing how much I wanted it and knowing how far it was out of our family budget, my mom lovingly explained to me before Christmas that I would need to choose something else to wish for. She gave me time to be disappointed, but a short while later she came into the kitchen with a giant box, some fabric, supplies and a giant smile. We sat together at the kitchen table all afternoon and created a homemade Barbie Dream House, complete with furniture and curtains in the windows.
This verse from John’s letter reminds me of that beautiful afternoon and the love that spilled from my mother’s heart. I realized that if my mom could love me that much, and her love is only a sliver of the love our Father has for us, I think I’m underestimating some things. I suppose God tries to show me his love a dozen times a week, and I’m so focused on what I have my heart set on that I forget he has his heart set on me simply because I am his child.
We are busy, we are smart, we are involved. We are parents, children, teachers, farmers and dozens of other things. We fuss about getting ahead and doing better, making more money and achieving success and titles. We are so many things, but I need to give more thought to the fact that, above all the other stuff, I am his child! We’re not some random clump of cells that was spun into existence by a nameless, faceless creator. We were chosen, created and knit in our mother’s womb perfectly and lovingly. How’s that for an antidote to feeling unloved and unimportant? We matter because we are his!
God's love is so mighty that he wants us, he desires our happiness and he wants us to let him love us like the precious child we are. God isn’t asking us to swim the ocean or climb Mt. Everest to earn his love. He simply wants our time, our love and our attention. He asks that we show his love to others, speak to him daily in prayer and live as if we realize how adored we are by the one who created us and calls us his child.
PRAY: Make it your prayer each day to ask the Father who loves you to help you notice the dozens of times each day he demonstrates his love. Be sure to thank him for that love.
STUDY: The Bible is often referred to as a collections of love letters from the Father to his children. Make it your plan to read one book of the Bible slowly, savoring the details of that love letter.
ENGAGE: The gift of the Father’s love is meant to be shared. Make it your mission to extend the Fathers love through a smile, an invitation to sit in your pew or to attend a parish function.
SERVE: Consider serving others this Thanksgiving by volunteering at your parish dinner or a local soup kitchen.