January 13, 2013: “God Sightings: You Are Loved”

Posted on : Jan 10th, 2013 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

What does it mean to be loved?  More specifically, “What does it mean to be loved by God?”  There is a difference.  There is a BIG difference.

Many of us have met “the love of our life.”  For some that love lasts a lifetime.  For others it doesn’t.  Sometimes it ends painfully.  Sometimes it ends abruptly.  Sometimes it slowly fades.  For some the experience of being loved is never found.  As wonderful as falling in love can be, it’s not the same as God’s love for us.

Personally, if I were God, I’d make it so no child is ever born without being wanted and loved.  The abortion debate drives me crazy when people focus on “the right to life” meaning biological conception.  How about the right to be loved?  That’s what we ought to be focusing on, not on biological conception.

One of my nephews, Josh, is adopted.  Many adopted kids are passed around through the foster care system.   Some go through many families before they actually get adopted.  Some never get adopted.  Many kids who are adopted after being with multiple families go through a “testing” period.  The estimated time frame is that they will “test” whether their family/new parents “really love them” for about as long as they were passed around in the foster system.  Josh was about four years old when he came into our family.  His testing period lasted a lot longer than four years!  It seems he went from testing the bonds of love straight to adolescence where he tried every trick in the book to rebel against that bond of love that his parents have for him.

In the last few weeks I’ve been talking with J.D. about his release from prison and his return to Los Angeles.  He raised an issue I had never thought about.  Here’s what he wrote:

I’ve met a lot of people here who are more than just “pals”. Some of them are like family. Unfortunately, under the circumstances, when I say good bye in three weeks, it means… goodbye. For keeps. And I do understand that.

I’ve gotten a lot out of the last 28 months here. And I’m not going to forget the blessings of this experience. I have definitely learned patience and will wait just a little longer for what I’m sure will be a very full and flourishing career.

Take care and I will see you soon!

Blessings,

JD

In Hebrew, the language that most of the Old Testament was written in, there is a special word that is used to describe God’s love for us.  It’s “hesed” [pronounced “hess-said.”]  It means a bond of love that is unbreakable.  Steadfast.  Rock solid.  Eternal.  Nothing can break it or end it.

That’s the bond of love that God reveals and Jesus experiences right after his baptism by John the Baptist.  “When Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in bodily form, as a dove, and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Child; with you I am well pleased.”

“You are Loved,” says God.  You are loved eternally by me.”  You can test that love, you can rebel against it, you can try to break it, you can even deny it exists, but it’s still there.  It can’t and won’t be broken.

This week our “God sighting” focuses on images that show us what it means to be Loved.  If you see an image that reveals that to you, take a picture and email it to me for Sunday! [dan AT wehoucc DOT org]

Also this Sunday Howard Tsai will be sharing the story of a conversation his mother had with him while she was in critical condition in Intensive about her love for him.  It is a God sighting!

Blessings,

Dan

 

~ This Sunday’s Scripture ~

Luke 3: 15-17; 21-22

The Baptism of Jesus

As the people were in expectation, all of them questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he were the Christ, John answered them all, “I baptize you with water; but one who is mightier than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie; that one will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.  With winnowing fork in hand, that one will clear the threshing floor, and gather the wheat into the granary, but will burn the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in bodily form, as a dove, and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Child; with you I am well pleased.”

 

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