Written by Steven Liechty
Kristopher S. Hewitt
"And a voice came from heaven, 'You are my child, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.'" - Mark 1:11
My son turned ten years old recently, and the event made me feel rather sentimental. It prompted me to share with my congregation the story of his birth, and what being a parent has taught me as a pastor. I never thought I could love someone as much as I love my wife, but I think it's a different kind of love one has for a child than for one's life partner.
Every night that I put my son to bed, we read and have our rituals. The last thing I do is say, "Good night, I love you." Then he says to me, "I love you, too." And that means the world to me. It warms my heart, it literally stops me in my tracks as I am walking down the hall, and it makes me say, "Thank you, God, for my family."
I have to believe that, in some small way, God feels the same way when we come to worship. As God's children, God wants us to know that we are "Beloved." Through all that God has done this past week to try to say, "I love you," when we come to worship, and bring God our thanks and praise, we are saying, "I love you, too."
So the next time you get ready for worship, offer a prayer of thanks, and say back to God, "I love you, too."
Thank you, God, for your love. I hope what I am doing pleases you. I love you, too. Amen.
Kristopher S. Hewitt is the Pastor of Ivanhoe Congregational Church, UCC, in Mundelein, Illinois.