Long before any human being saw us, we are seen by God’s loving eyes. Long before anyone heard us cry or laugh, we are heard by our God who is all ears for us. Long before any person spoke to us in this world, we are spoken to by the voice of eternal love. Our preciousness, uniqueness, and individuality are not given to us by those who meet us in clock-time—our brief chronological existence—but by the One who has chosen us with an everlasting love, a love that existed from all eternity and will last through all eternity.
– Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved
This past weekend, I sat down with my family to watch “Christmas with The Chosen”. If you haven’t heard of the crowd-funded, multi-season TV show about the life of Jesus, I would strongly recommend that you take it in as a family this Christmas. Through the generosity of donors, it is available for free on YouTube. The depiction of Jesus and his early “chosen ones” sends shivers down my spine and brings tears to my eyes each time I sit down to watch.
The title of this show, The Chosen, resonates with something I have been thinking about a lot as we have moved through this season of Advent. Henri Nouwen names our chosenness as one of four “movements of the Spirit in our lives” as a Christian. Before we took our first breath, heard or spoke first words, or felt the touch of another, we were loved. More than that, we were chosen as the object of the eternal love of the Father – even before we were born.
Advent is a yearly reminder of our Belovedness. From the garden to the stable, God foreshadowed his “love come down”. Through prophets, signs, and symbols, He built anticipation for a demonstration of the fullness of His love. In the immaculate conception and humble birth of the Christ-child, we came face-to-face with love personified. Even before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4), God chose this demonstration of His love. He chose you as the object of his love.
You are chosen. You are beloved. You are precious. Pass it on.
On behalf of our staff and leadership team, have a blessed Christmas!