I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be beloved, broken, bearers of God’s love.
This wondering has come up for me because of the conference I attended last week, but also because of our upcoming education series.This coming Sunday we begin our next series in our Sunday morning adult education. For February, our sessions are titled “Faith, Scripture, & #metoo”.
Part of our study will be looking at the ECLA’s in-progress social statement on Women & Justice, and we’ll be diving into difficult scripture texts, our faith experiences, and the recent #metoo movement.
It’s going to be a big topic. And honestly we only have three Sundays to work with this complex issue.
But three days is a start.
And it’s a start that we need.
During the conference I attended last week, I was reminded of Martin Luther’s understanding of humanity. Luther understood that we as humans are simultaneously beloved, broken, and bearer’s of God’s love.
And that sometimes the truth of this understanding for us can be difficult to hold. As children of God, we receive God’s love for us. We are beloved because we are loved by our Creator.
Even when we don’t deserve it. Maybe especially when we don’t deserve it. God still calls us God’s own beloved children.
Bearers of Love
It’s because of this love that we are called to be bearer’s of God’s love – to hold God’s love, to share God’s love with our neighbor. John’s first letter reminds us that it’s only because we have been loved that we are able to love. This is the love that we are called to share with those around us.
Because we carry this love with us – this love that we are given. And as people of faith, we represent God’s love to those we meet. And sometimes that’s a scary thought. Because we don’t always represent God’s love very well.
Sometimes our brokenness gets in the way for us. Sometimes this is the reality of violence, mental illness, or plain evil that causes harm to others. As part of our study we’ll be looking not just at our understandings around victims of harassment, assault, and violence, but the perpetrators too.
In some cases, we might have experiences as both a victim and as someone who victimizes. As broken people, our brokenness can sometimes harms others.
But even in our brokenness, even as we begin to dive into difficult and painful topics, there is hope. Because even in our brokenness, whether that be the brokenness placed upon us by the actions of another person, or our own actions that break us apart. Even in our brokenness, God still sees us, God still sees you. And God still calls you beloved. God still entrusts you with the call to share God’s love with the world.
God has that much faith in you, in us, and as I think about my beloved, broken, bearer self, I give thanks to God for the love and the forgiveness I am given, and I pray for God to be with us in all the conversations we have yet to come.
How have you experienced being beloved by God? How have you experienced your own brokenness? What ways might you bear God’s love to the world this week?