Thursday, January 03, 2008

10th Day: Children of God

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. 1 John 3:1

This was the first reading at Eucharist today (1 John 3:1-6). John in his writings loves the image of “children of God.” In the prologue to his Gospel he writes, “To all who received him who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.” (John 1:12) It is for me a moving image. To be someone’s child is a forever thing. No one can take that away from you. John seems to think as much in his wonderful little phrase “and that is what we are.”

In God’s child we are all children (co-heirs with him, as St. Paul says). That means that God cannot let go of us, even if he wants to, even if, like any parent, he is disappointed or even angry with us at times. But he can never change the fact that we are his children. He has accepted that in Jesus, that is what we believe. So we are bold enough to say in the baptismal rite, “You are marked as Christ’s own for ever.”

On the days when I am down and questioning my own worth I need these words. They are my very life. I invite you to make them yours as well.

In Eugene Peterson’s translation (The Message):
What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are.

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