I first heard these words from the lips of The Rev. Laurie Clark,
former pastor of St. Luke’s on 5th United Methodist Church in Columbus, OH. I spent a school year at St. Luke’s on 5th as a church music field education student, There I immersed myself in the music and social ministries of the congregation.
It was a year of eye opening compassion and love.
It was also from Pastor Laurie that I first heard the invitation to,
“Be the Beloved.” It just so happened that St. Valentine’s Day fell on a Sunday that year. Taking a cue from Pastor Laurie, I made Valentines for every single person at St. Luke’s on 5th. Everyone.
Everyone received a pink, red, or purple heart with a message of God’s love inside, instead of the usual sappy messages received on that day..
At the baptism of Jesus a voice from heaven declared,
“This is my Son, the beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
At your baptism God also declared you, “Beloved.”
On that day, you were marked with the cross of Christ and sealed with the promise of the Holy Spirit forever.
You are and will forever be a loved Child of God.
You are God’s beloved.
There is nothing you can do to make God love you any more or any less.
Go, Beloved Children of God!
Be the love this world so desperately needs.
Share God’s message of love with everyone you meet.
Not in the words of sappy Valentines but in words of love and actions of peace.
The Rev. Mary Ann Harris Siefke