As a child I was never chosen first for anything. I was often not only the last picked, but even at the last the kids who were team captains often tried to foist me off onto each other. For this reason recesses were spent mostly off by myself. Being a “loner” didn’t bother me as I had an ample imagination and frankly found most kids my age to be tiresome. Nevertheless, being an undesirable left its scars…and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I grew up without any illusion about my athletic ability or social “coolness”. I knew I was weird, a misfit, an outcast. I knew I’d never be one of the popular kids because I didn’t fit any of the categories, moulds, cliques, etc. I did have friends. Most were misfits like me, but nobody chose me.
Except, that not entirely accurate. Somebody did choose me. There is a word used many times in the New Testament which explains this. Many people get upset over this word and try to reinterpret it. I don’t understand why, because to someone who has no illusions about his worthiness this word defines love. The word is “elect”. Chosen.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 ESV)
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.” (1 Peter 1:1, 2 ESV)
God chose me. Not because I can make the all-stars. Not because I’m any good. He chose me, not because He needed anything from me or because I could provide something no one else could. Quite frankly I have no idea why God chose me. But God chose me. That’s love! God has chosen me and poured His grace on me. And this weekend is the celebration of the historical events which made it all possible. The Father chose me so the Son died for me in order that the Father could have me.
I have no idea why. Seriously, I’m so messed up there can be no useful, purposeful, rational reason. But then, since when does God need to check in with us or play by our value system? Just typing these words causes tears of joy and gratitude to flow from my eyes. I am chosen. I am called. I am picked. The Father sacrificed His own Son to do it. Jesus went through with it in order to make it real. That’s what Amazing Grace is.
There are a few people who follow this blog. I have no idea why. I have no idea who most of you are or where you are on your spiritual journey. I simply pray that you will allow the amazing love of God wash over you this Easter.