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Love 7: Beloved

Question:

What is it about you that God delights in?

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Transcript of Video:

I think what is so central to our identity as Christians is the fact that we know that we are loved by God, and that our chief identity, our main identity, is that we are beloved children of God. And I think this is crucial to our sense of who we are in the world: that our identity does not depend on external things and people’s approval or on degrees or status or success or possessions or wealth, but our identity is found within. It’s the fact that we are known and loved by God. So our chief identity is as of a beloved child of God.

And I think this makes all the difference for us, because when we have that as the core of our identity, then we’re free to be free in the world, not to have to impress or please or do anything else to earn our identity. We have this secure identity that can never be taken away from us. And as the first letter of John says, “We love because He first loved us.” And I think we become people of love once we know that we have been loved. We become able to forgive once we’ve experienced being forgiven ourselves. We become able to bear with other people when they realize that God has been lovingly patient towards us. So I think it’s crucial to our identity.

Second part of that phrase, “We love because God first loved us.” That second part is the work of prayer. And we need to give ourselves some time and space to take in this love, day by day, and to know ourselves to be loved and to reaffirm that part of our identity. To really make it the core of who we are and allow it to shape how we function in the world.

So how we do that? We do it in prayer. I once said to a group that I was working with in retreat that, “You’ve made so many sacrifices on behalf of the Gospel, but have you ever allowed God to express God’s appreciation to you? Have you ever received God’s thanks for the sacrifices you’ve made?” And for many of us, that’s a strange idea, but to open ourselves to the love that God wants to give to us and wants to affirm in us, day by day, I think is very crucial.

-Br. David Vryhof

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61 Comments

  1. Brenda Sutherland on March 20, 2016 at 07:26

    I believe that God delights in things I do. I know he is always with me and he appreciates a sense of humor, he must get pleasure from the acts of giving, and I try to walk the talk. God is good.
    Love the series, thanks.

  2. Karen Fast on April 7, 2015 at 23:49

    Br. David’s words are wonderful. While I know them to be true, living them needs constant reminder, prayer time as he said. God has got to delight in my “hanging in there.” I’ve been ill again and here it is, about two weeks later than it should be for me to consider this question. But I feel rich with the talks and questions waiting for me. Life is good. God is good.

  3. David Cranmer on March 31, 2015 at 22:59

    I have no idea what about me God delights in. I can speculate, but I somehow sense that that is somewhat presumptive on my part to think I can figure out what God delights in. While reading people’s responses I could see a lot of things that I hope God delights in about me, such as humor and persistence, as well as giving, but somehow I feel uneasy to speak with certainty about what God delights in.

  4. Linda on March 31, 2015 at 11:58

    My easy going nature … to be able to be with people and love and enjoy them no matter how different.

  5. Susan Zimmerman on March 30, 2015 at 20:31

    …one day after great giving God sat up in a hospital bed and looked at me (with a left eye rolled back into the eye socket) and told me that I was Gods’ beloved and waved goodbye…when death is occurring people aren’t usually lying…didn’t really care at the time about being the beloved but about a year later…and now…understand.

  6. Sophfronia on March 29, 2015 at 22:18

    I think God delights in the ways I am still very much like a little girl, prone to kicking the dirt in frustration when things don’t go my way, but also able to make great leaps into love and being fearless in that love as only a child can be.

  7. gwedhen nicholas on March 29, 2015 at 21:16

    I think that I need to be concentrating on how God delights in other people, rather than the ways He delights in me. I am far to inward. I need to look out and see others, and delight in them, just as God does.

  8. Louise Howlett on March 29, 2015 at 18:26

    My desire to love and continue to grow…my hope that I am good enough as is….

  9. Alison Vogel on March 29, 2015 at 16:43

    Sometimes I wonder what God sees in me. But I think what God see in me is a little bit of God’s own self, because that’s what everyone is given. I love to create beautiful things in fabric, and when some felicitous combination of color, shape, and texture occurs, I feel my own delight in concert with God’s. Sometimes I just have to dance with joy, and I imagine God doing the same thing.

  10. Lissa Davis on March 29, 2015 at 11:23

    That I delight I Him

  11. mark on March 28, 2015 at 23:54

    My ability to pressed on in overwhelming odds without giving up the faith.

  12. Jana Everett on March 28, 2015 at 23:15

    I think God delights in when I can be there for others. When I can speak up against unfairness. When I can exercise and enjoy the energy. When I am making love with a person I care about.

  13. Dee Dee on March 28, 2015 at 21:58

    I believe I have been given the gift of “joy and wonder in all (God’s) works” and I am hopeful that God delights in my effort to cultivate that gift. I certainly feel loved whenever I get that feeling of “joy and wonder,” and if I am paying attention, I realize that I feel it quite often.

  14. Christine white on March 28, 2015 at 21:14

    He delights in my compassion for others and how really silly I can be at times.

  15. Verlinda on March 28, 2015 at 18:23

    I believe God delights in my sense of humor and play, in the ways that I notice others when they’re not having a good day, in the listening that I do and in the fierce sense of faithfulness I have to the things and people I believe in.

  16. Eleanor J on March 28, 2015 at 17:09

    He delights in me being who I am. He has been pressing, shaping me as a potter does. He has listened to my prayers to be a light in the world. My love for his Son Lord Jesus Christ and my reading the word daily and praying that he accomplishes his will in my life and that the Holy Spirit resides in me will confirm my heart in the truth of scripture.

  17. Tracy on March 28, 2015 at 14:35

    What does God delight in with me? Bringing peace & joy to others through humour, encouragement, trust & sensitivity – being transparent, open, vulnerable – I’m amazed how many people say to me ‘I haven’t told anybody else this, but…..’ & how do we feel once we speak our darkest moments to those we trust – the darkness is brought into the light & dissipates into nothingness, resolution, peace. I love to serve God in this way – I count it a privilege & I sense His love & peace within me.

    • Tom on March 31, 2015 at 07:23

      Thank you for articulating that for which I had no words!

  18. Tracy on March 28, 2015 at 14:27

    I think this is the key to everything in & with God
    (& life). It is miraculous, transformational, underpins the Gospel (The Passion & sending of the Holy Spirit) & I think, I sense & feel I am only aware to a certain level of God’s love for me, but it’s growing – I sense I’m close to a break through. You’re right – it’s through prayer, being still – learning to be still, but I also find it to be in everything I do in seeking God – I find it hard, but once I have a taste, I tend not to give up until I find the answer for me… There are just so many distractions it’s unbelievable. But it’s exactly what I’m looking for – that deep thorough sense of God’s love – nothing else matters after that…. everything will just slide into place. Total peace. Total freedom to serve.

  19. Gordon on March 28, 2015 at 14:20

    My smile.

  20. Harold Pound on March 28, 2015 at 14:01

    Now that I’m in the second half of my life, I find it much easier to realize that God/ Holy Spirit is with me, leading me and constantly loving me. I still have trouble with my ego but it is getting better and easier to let go of my ego and let god lead me. I am a chaplain in the respite area in a 86 bed for homeless men. I’m there three time a week and will meet with men who request to meet and talk.

  21. Maria on March 28, 2015 at 13:53

    Thanks David, recently, while on my walks, I began having thoughts like: 1) Does Jesus worry about us? 2) Feeling assured that God will reward my patience/faith/hope about particular situations. But your wording makes the latter more vivid and alive. Thank you.

  22. Kenneth Knapp on March 28, 2015 at 13:49

    Hopefully, my sense of humor. Otherwise, I may be in big trouble!

  23. Nicki on March 28, 2015 at 13:47

    I suspect that it my optimism and my perseverance that God appreciates in me. They both help me with active listening.
    This series has given me a stimulating Lent that I honestly never thought I might experience. It is a special treat to hear what all of the contributing Brothers have given us in homily and to view your wonderful, sincere, composing facial expressions as you spoke. The intimacy we’ve received from you all has been another special gift, day after day, surprising topic after topic, always after calling us to chapel with your beautiful bells. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  24. NA on March 28, 2015 at 12:55

    I agree with Nancy — I have never considered how God might delight in me. Off the top of my head, I guess I would say he delights in the very things that make me different since he created me with those specific traits to fulfill my place in his plan.

  25. Mimi on March 28, 2015 at 12:48

    I loved today’s message. The insight that you need to feel yourself to be loved in order to love others, and that we all have that available to us, because we are each loved by God is a rich one. I will spend some time today focussed on this and sending God’s love for me.

  26. Jane on March 28, 2015 at 12:35

    I think God takes delight in my sense of humor, my appreciation of all of the natural beauty around me, and my appreciation of classical music. I also think God takes delight in my love of cooking and baking. It’s awesome the way one set of ingredients can be transformed into something completely different. I love the sense of co-creating with God as I cook or bake. And I think God is delighting in my participation in the scripture discussion group at my church. This is something new for me and I am learning so much!!

  27. Caitlyn on March 28, 2015 at 12:28

    I think God delights in me how much I give. I give even when I don’t have the means and its maybe not financially responsible for me to do so (something I usually don’t care to look at until after I’ve given). Sometimes it’s money to a cause, but usually it’s giving my time to someone or giving them something to nourish them. I love feeding people, brining people the medicine they need, sharing drinks with people. Giving comes naturally to me, but I also know that with this gift God has given me I have to maintain boundaries to protect myself from burn out or financial ruin.

  28. Muriel Akam on March 28, 2015 at 12:27

    I think God loves my dependability and that is why I am often called on by family, friends and colleagues. I have never thought that I’ve made sacrifices for God . I I try to do what is right and follow my heart and Jesus’s teachings of loving God and neighbours .

  29. Margaret Drumm on March 28, 2015 at 12:27

    My desire to love and please God. It has been true for me this week that I need to be still and remember how much God loves me, when I am drained.

  30. Tom Bailey on March 28, 2015 at 12:12

    I think God created me to love me and that I have to learn to accept God’s love (and God’s thanks!)

  31. Roderic Brawn on March 28, 2015 at 11:57

    I pray that God delights in my efforts to bring beautiful music to our worship services, and to the world in general. I am a music-educator by trade. Now being retired I do more singing and preparing for our Senior Choir at Church. I also play in a concert band, in which I hope others take delight.
    I hope God notices that I try everyday to serve others, and to keep myself healthy with exercise; I walk about 10,000 steps a day. Then, as I don’t take any earplug sound I can meditate, and think about the world in which I live, a gift from God, shaped by our earthly family.

  32. Janet on March 28, 2015 at 11:25

    Thank you Brother David. I heard your words about giving time each day for prayer to re affirm God’s love for us as part of our identity, with a jolt of understanding. Of course!
    Why had I not realised this before!
    Thank you Brothers for this Lent series. The time spent with you, and reading the responses of others has helped me on my journey.
    As to the question- it is a hard one. I think it is my continual returning to the path which brings me gradually closer to Him. I constantly resolve to spend more time to be with God, and constantly fail in my resolve. But I keep trying!

  33. Enid on March 28, 2015 at 10:54

    Sharing the love I receive from God.

  34. Kathy B on March 28, 2015 at 10:36

    I think it is my trust that he WILL take care of me, my attempts at patience (they surely make him laugh!) as I wait for guidance and direction; my honesty with myself and him, and my joy at his astonishing works – in me, in nature and in the world.

  35. susan on March 28, 2015 at 10:33

    The joy and eagerness to be a life -long learner.

  36. John Greenman on March 28, 2015 at 10:31

    I met a priest at a Cursillo weekend who told me, “the Lord delights in you.” Then, I felt the Lord was with us forgiving my sins. Since then, I’ve often reverted to my self-critical identity. But today’s meditation reminds me of that other experience. I think the Lord delights in me because I persist in seeking Him. I see Him in the poor, the homeless, jail inmates, and the lonely.

  37. Kathleen Sheehy on March 28, 2015 at 10:26

    He enjoys my jokes.

  38. Rev Tom Calhoun on March 28, 2015 at 09:49

    God only knows! That having been said, I find that when I serve others I receive an overwhelming sense of euphoria and bliss. It’s as if I overdosed on hormones, which would be a good trick as I have chronic endocrine disease. I like to think of it as a sacrament; the euphoria is the outward sign of God’s grace…His love for us when we help others. I get a similar feeling when gardening. We are one with the Earth, and it is good to work the Earth and nurture that relationship.

  39. Michael on March 28, 2015 at 09:36

    I think God loves to watch my enthusiasm for life, but knew it would carry me away if not tempered. He also gave me a burden that has forced to be develop patience and understanding and tolerance I might have otherwise never nurtured. It has been painful at times, and I have certainly asked the burden to be lifted, but over time I have come to a partial understanding of my situation

  40. Lisa on March 28, 2015 at 09:16

    God delights in my sensitivity and will to do his will.

  41. Deborah on March 28, 2015 at 09:06

    I will echo the comment from Christopher Barnhart. I also have always thought my enthusiasm and spontaneity were gifts from God, and, yes, I often move and talk before seeking guidance.

    I wonder about Br. David’s statement that we have all made sacrifices on behalf of the gospel. I have never considered my actions as sacrifice. Is that because I consider ‘it all joy,’ or that I need to do more with my gifts?

    • Lisa T on March 28, 2015 at 17:12

      One Sunday, our priest reminded us that the root meaning of the word “sacrifice” is “to make holy”.

      Life requires me to make choices. Often I regret what I did not choose.

      But I bet God loves it when I honor my gifts and relationships, when I try to make life holy.

      It sounds as if you are making life holy, too.

  42. N on March 28, 2015 at 09:02

    Sorry but I really can’t presume to answer that question. However, I must say that I was much taken this morning with Brother David’s musings. Prayer, as I have belatedly come to realize, is of the must fundamental activities in my life as a Christian, something that I don’t do nearly enough. As Marcus Borg once mused, how much different would Christianity be if, like Islam, we were required to pray five times a day? Thank you, Brother David.

  43. Norm Anderson on March 28, 2015 at 08:57

    I think God delights in my ability to love others and especially those I don’t especially like. Perhaps God delights in my incessant puns as well!

  44. Charles Hawes on March 28, 2015 at 08:26

    My concern to protect, reassure, encourage people who for one reason or another are separated from the mainstream. I’m a peace, love, and justice guy at my best and have given much of my life working toward these ends.

  45. Conni White on March 28, 2015 at 07:57

    I feel we are the beloved children of God every week when I look into the eyes of one of our diners at our weekly community lunch program. It is in those moments of connection that I feel I am beloved and so is the person I am talking to. Sometimes for me it is difficult to feel God’s love but in those moments of deep connection with our lunch program diners God’s love is very evident and tangible.

  46. Christopher Epting on March 28, 2015 at 07:55

    I think God delights in my loyalty – to my family, to the church, to friends…and especially to God. I got this “trait” from my own father, and have always been grateful for it.

  47. Barbara on March 28, 2015 at 07:50

    That I am completely committed to God … that I hunger and thirst for God … that my heart longs to know God better and more fully … that I rejoice in God.

  48. JGlow on March 28, 2015 at 07:50

    My children were delightful when they were discovering the world; when for example they observed a bird and were amazed at its flight. I hope that God delights in me when I am discovering His presence in the world. I am amazed by the sunrise and I love the songbirds in my backyard. Delightful!

  49. Karen on March 28, 2015 at 07:48

    I think God delights in my faith, my desire to help others, and how I am trying to let go of the past and live for now.

  50. Tom on March 28, 2015 at 07:45

    Hopefully God delights in the time I spend listening to Him. The more and more I just listen, I realize how much, throughout my life, He has either pointed me in the right direction or provided me with signs of things for which I should be prepared.
    One of countless examples occurred when I was in eighth grade. I was beginning to lose my vision due to glaucoma. We had a blind teacher at our school, who taught visually impaired children. This woman needed someone to walk her to the bus stop after school, and my mother volunteered me for the task. Initially, I was very reluctant and embarrassed, but over time, I saw that she was no different than anyone else; quite the amazing lady! My vision declined very gradually over the next thirty-five years.
    As the little vision I still had, faded away, I realized how God gave my mother the insight to have me help this teacher and how this teacher silently taught me how to succeed without my eyes. It was no coincidence that God gave me the opportunity to learn and play alongside a few visually impaired children for eight years. My faith and God’s guidance allowed me to transition from partial blindness to total blindness without missing one day of work! What’s next God, I’m listening.

  51. Enid Shields on March 28, 2015 at 07:04

    When I hold a baby, speaking softly and sweetly as the child coos and smiles in return while we look into each other’s eyes I feel most keenly what it is to be the beloved children of God.

  52. Linda h. on March 28, 2015 at 06:59

    God delights in me because I show up. I stand with my friends and family even in the darkest times. He loves the fact that when all is bleak, I put one foot in front of the other and move forward. She is also happy that I’m a “half-full” girl and try hard not to complain, especially about things over which I have no control.

  53. Christopher Engle Barnhart on March 28, 2015 at 06:45

    I think that God loves my enthusiasm and impulsiveness. But these traits come at a cost. Sometimes these traits get in the way of listening for God’s voice and guideness. I find myself acting to quickly and responding before I know the whole truth, God’s answer and desire for me.

    • NA on March 28, 2015 at 12:52

      The Apostle Peter had the same inclination, and scripture shows how Jesus was quite quite fond of him! I remind myself of that when my own impulsiveness leads me into interesting spaces.

      • NA on March 28, 2015 at 12:57

        Not to mention that even though Peter eventually realized he was walking on water, freaked out, and sank, it was his very impulsiveness and love for Jesus that made him the only one to leap out of the boat. Peter sank afterward, true, but he leaped first.

    • Catleen on March 28, 2015 at 13:30

      Amen!

  54. Nancy W. Del Borgo on March 28, 2015 at 06:19

    Oh my. I have never considered before what Br. David has written about today. Thank you, Br. David!

  55. bob on March 28, 2015 at 05:00

    Caring for others.

  56. Nina Boal on March 28, 2015 at 01:42

    I make efforts to stand up for justice.

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