Beloved. It is one of those words that always intimidated me, that seemed too holy, too lofty and maybe even a little snobbish for my tastes. I almost opted out of writing anything about it this month until this strange thought popped into my head.
Beloved is really not one word, it is two. BE LOVED. I think some Bible translators were a little tired that night after a long day with Nehemiah and accidentally joined the two together, and now everyone is saying it as if it were one. (Hey, it’s just theory – don’t shoot the messenger!)
Either way, maybe I stumbled onto, or over, what had been a hang-up for me about this word Beloved. Maybe in some underlying, subconscious thought stream I was not hung up on being the Beloved, but on BEing Loved at all.
The truth, as I have grown to realize, is that God loves each and every one of us. Fiercely, and ferociously, and jealously. We cannot help but Be Loved by God. We just cannot make Him unlove us.
This is the guy that made the UNIVERSE, people. Not just our little orb, but the stars and the sky and the nebula and the places we cannot even see even with a hundred Hubbles latched onto each other. Add that to the micro truth that there is nothing here on this earth that He did not have something to do with creating. NoThing.
God is over all and through all and in all. ~Ephesians 4.6
Then, as if that’s not enough to make your head spin, God then walked on the earth, on the same soil that we walk on, with two legs and two arms and a heart that could hurt with the best of us. He became one of us, to show us – to literally show us – how we could live differently.
Up until then, we were like sheep without a shepherd wandering into waters over our head, getting stuck in briar patches we had no business being near (Psalm 23). We needed a shepherd so we would stop hurting ourselves. We needed to know we were BeLoved by the One who took compassion on us (Matthew 9.36), even as He walked right next to us.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. ~John 15.9
Beautiful words about a beautiful thought. But it means nothing if you don’t accept it. You can memorize the words. You can write them on cards and send them to friends. You can teach and preach about them. But until you absorb the truth of these words, the sheer enormity, the joy beyond joy of them, you will miss the whole point. You will miss the reason Jesus did what He did.
BE LOVED. Let God into more than your readings, more than your idle passing of inspired words.
Let yourself BE LOVED by the only One who really counts.