Monday, July 13, 2009

Those who love God...

Jesus is taken by God or, better, chosen by God. Jesus is the Chosen One. From all eternity God has chosen his most precious Child to become the saviour of the world. Being chosen expresses a special relationship, being known and loved in a unique way, being singled out. In our society our being chosen always implies that others are not chosen. But this is not true for God. God chooses his Son to reveal to us our chosenness.

In the Kingdom of God there is no competition or rivalry. The Son of God shares his chosenness with us. In the Kingdom of God each person is precious and unique, and each person has been given eyes to see the chosenness of others and rejoice in it.

Henri Nouwen, from Bread for the Journey

This makes a lot of sense to me in the context of thinking about the doctrine of election. I am no theologian, but I have noticed that the question of election and predestination has caused countless controversies and accusations of heresy over the years, not to mention causing acute distress and confusion in ordinary Christians - me included, at times in the past!

In many ways for me the resolution is to be found in the last verses of Romans 8 - but I'll let Andy Wilkes take over here. He puts it much better than I could!

If we return to Romans 8 we see, from verse 28 onwards, that those people who are called by God are, in fact, 'those who love God' and that they are called to be 'a large family.' This large family, the 'multitude of nations' which God promised Abraham, is necessarily a diverse one, a mixed bunch, who like any large family includes those who we don't quite get on with. God's people are like brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and distant cousins, who are as diverse as any other cross section of human beings. But we are one family and like any extended family this includes people who we don't really like and who are very different from ourselves.

Are we prepared to acknowledge and embrace that diversity? Are we prepared to be part of this family? It would seem from recent headlines that many are not.

The good news of the Gospel is that all are being called into a covenant relationship with God, to be part of this one family whose task it is to build up the Kingdom of God, which is both for now and in the future. God continues to call us today. In fact, he loved us before we loved him, even to the extent that in Jesus Christ he died for us, way before we were even a twinkle. That surely is the doctrine of Election.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:04 pm

    I heard a good discussion about this the other day on GodPod (from HTB)... they seemed basically to be saying that it is Christ alone who is elect and we become elect when we are "In Christ". I like the way this line of reasoning celebrates both our free choice and the fact that God chooses us.

    Simon M.