You are loved by family and friends, of course. But more than that and over it all, you are loved by God. The God who made the world, who lined up stars and set them in place, who is ever present and all powerful. The only God; he is the one who loves you.
He loves us, his people, not because we’ve arrived or our hair is perfect, or our houses are clean, or our kids ate a healthy breakfast this morning. He doesn’t love us because we’re so wise and we think deep thoughts. He loves us when we oversleep, and burn the toast, and flood the bathroom. He loves us when our imperfectness cries out for help, and even during those times when we think we don’t need any help at all.
Paul says it pretty clearly in his letter to the Ephesians.
In love he predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will - to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. (Ephesians 1: 5 and 6)
The King James says “he hath made us accepted in the Beloved.”
God accepts us in Christ. He doesn’t accept us based on our good deeds. He doesn’t accept us because of our fabulous talents. He doesn’t even accept us because of our perceived lack of talent. He accepts us based on Jesus’ saving work on the cross.
The interesting thing about that word accepted is that it is used only one other time in the entire Bible. When Mary, the mother of Jesus, is greeted by an angel she is called highly favored. The Greek defines it as accepted, perused with grace and honored with blessings. It’s the same word we receive from Paul.
We are accepted.
And here’s the thing that just might make us want to sing. Mary, as special as she was, maybe wasn’t as extraordinary as we thought. I’ve always thought that her calling must have been based on her great ability or the unmatched pureness of her heart. But she was only highly favored, which is to say that she was accepted in the Beloved. Just like we are.
God loves us and chooses us. He doesn’t choose us because of anything we’ve done, or based on merit or effort. He chooses us because his heart overflows with love, and he welcomes us because of it.
So when Monday tries to beat us up, we must remember that we are loved. When the cares of the week try to take over before we even begin, we can sing out because God has accepted us.
We are loved, surrounded by blessings, pursued by grace, and accepted because of what Jesus did. Not because we’re the cool mom in the clean minivan, or the mom who took her kids to school in her bathrobe, or the mom who put on a suit and hit the office with purpose, or any of the other things that we feel define us.
My husband would say I'm one hot wife, my youngest child would say I'm not the funniest in the house, my middle child would say I give great pedicures, my oldest child would say I can build a pretty good ship out of Legos, my friends would say I'm a good listener, my running shoes would say I'm consistent, my dog would say I'm his favorite and my God would say I'm his child and he adores me. His voice is the one I'm striving to listen to the most.