Today’s reading from 1 John is a strong reminder that we are to act like disciples, rather than only talk like disciples.
That task can sometimes feel like a bit too much, especially if you just had a season full of #adventfails like I did.
I didn’t finish the St. Andrew Novena. I didn’t even start the Jesse Tree. I didn’t sing Christmas carols at a nursing home. And I forgot to buy the Advent candles altogether.
I am in a season. But not the beautiful, reflective Advent and Christmas season that I planned for back in September. Nope. It’s more appropriate to say that I am in the trenches of child-rearing, child-bearing, and house-renovating. Although I just love this time of year, I didn’t walk just as He walked very much at all this Christmas.
Yet with all the coulda-woulda-shoulda going through my mind, I am fixated by one word from today’s reading in 1 John: Beloved.
We do not preach the Gospel of Legalism. Yes, Jesus does want you to do all of the lovely things that draw you closer to Him. He thinks the Jesse Tree is great. But more than that He wants you to know that you are His beloved.
Jesus draws us up and, through John, tells us to make our life about Him, in action and deed. But with that one word, beloved, we are reminded that He cares for us deeply and understands our faults. Our disorganization. Our frustration. Our sin.
Our Lord doesn’t stick a meme on it and say “it’s no big deal that you failed.” It is a big deal! But He transforms us through that failure and loves us in spite of it. This reminds me 2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’”
We should take John’s words and challenge ourselves. Be the hands and feet of Jesus! But, when we fall short, we should remember that we are His beloved and He wants all of us. The good, the bad, and the lazy.
Amy Swenson is unusually tall. She likes Zach Swenson, going to the movies, and being a girl. A convert from a whole lotta denominations, she came into the Church in 2010. She lives in Augusta, GA, and is thisclose to giving birth to her third child.