We are, each and every human being, created by Love, to love and to be loved. And yet, that seems to be the first thing we forget as we learn to navigate this amazing gift of life we’ve been given. Somehow we write for ourselves a story in which we have to earn love, make ourselves worthy of love, and ration our love for others.
The journey inward to remind ourselves Whose and who we really are feels self-centered and selfish to many Christians because we’ve bought the false story that when Jesus said “deny yourself and follow me” he meant that we were to ignore our own well-being. That is not at all what Jesus meant; Jesus showed us in flesh and blood what it looks like to be other-focused not self-centered. To love like Jesus loves we must be emotionally and spiritually well. And to manage our whole well-being we have to take the journey inward so that we can love from the image of God within us.
Getting to know ourself as God knows us enables us to see others as God sees (as much as humanly possible and with God’s help). Compassion, kindness, and gratitude are how we step back into God’s story written for us at the beginning of time. Start with being compassionate, kind, and grateful to and for yourself. Enter 2023 knowing you are a beloved child of God, part of the eternal story of Love. Together we can participate in God’s rEVOLution and change this world from the nightmare it often is to the dream that God intends*.
*Credit goes to the Most Reverend Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church for the nightmare/dream statement.