1 John 3:1-3
1See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. 3And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
I still remember when she made the announcement. She told me before the church potluck that she had good news to share. She and her husband had tried unsuccessfully for years to have a child. The congregation rejoiced with them when they began the process of adoption, but none of us realized how difficult a journey that that would be. As we all sat down at the potluck, I called on her. I thought she would explain how, after a year of red-tape, disappointments, starting over, and much prayer, they finally had gotten approval for a new addition to their family. I thought she would talk about all they had gone through to become parents.
Instead, she stood by her husband, beaming, tears running down her face, holding up a picture. Barely able to get the words out for joy, she simply said “This is our son, Andrew. We will bring him home next week!” That little boy would grow up with the two people on earth who loved him most, his mother and father. And at his baptism, little Andrew was marked with the cross of Christ. Andrew would belong forever to his heavenly Father, would be a precious child of God who would love him with an everlasting love.
We too are loved with an everlasting love. God’s love is given to us as a gift. And, as today’s passage reminds us, we are not only “called” children of God, “that is what we ARE” (1 John 3:1). Through the water and Word of baptism, we are made children of the Heavenly Father. God loves you. You are a child of God. I am a child of God. Your neighbor is a child of God. We’re all related. God will never leave us.
Heavenly Father, we are your children, and your love for us never fails. Your love for us does not depend on anything we do or say, but comes to us from your heart of grace. Help us love our brothers and sisters with a love like yours. Amen.
Written by Pastor Pam Mitcham
Pastor of Community Care