“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ
with every spiritual blessing
in the heavenly places,
4 even as he chose us
in him before the foundation of the world,
that we should be
holy and blameless before him.
5 he predestined us for adoption
as sons through Jesus Christ,
according to the purpose of his will,
6 to the praise of his glorious grace,
with which he has blessed us in the beloved.”
As I look at this set of verses I feel as though I am looking more at a psalm than a new testament epistle, and I smile. I smile because of that little word beloved. I smile because He has chosen, not I have chosen, but He. I smile because it is according to the purpose of His will. I smile because I'm not perfect, because I am so incredibly broken, and yet He loves me. I smile because by God making His own Son a curse He has made available every spiritual blessing.
As I look at that word I wonder whom it is that is being referred to as beloved? Is he saying the church or Christ? Or both?
At first glance I would think Paul was referring to the church as the beloved. Now I must say quite the opposite Paul refers to Jesus as The Beloved.
I think Christ because the word “in” that is used in these last few verses often is referring to Christ. “Blessed us in Christ... Chose us in Him” “Blessed us in the beloved.”
The Beloved of the church and the Beloved of the Father. That word has such depth to it for me. I keep thinking of the song of Solomon, where that word is used so often. I think about the deep love between a married couple. I have not experienced such love as that, yet the longer I walk with God the more He opens my heart to knowing His love for me. The more He has grown my capacity to love my sisters in Christ, and the lost.
It is convicting in a way, Paul calling Christ the Beloved. I have known Jesus as my beloved, but how often do I sit before Him and be with Him? How often do I simply cherish Him? I know He cherishes me as beloved, and calls me beloved, waits on me and listens to my struggles. Patiently deals with my sin, and leads me into true life with Him. Yet so often I simply come to Him with a list of things that have been on my mind, with my anxieties and my troubles, like speaking through a phone never allowing myself to listen to His voice, like never looking into His face. I do not mean to say that bringing my troubles to Him is wrong, by all means we should go to God with our struggles. 1St peter 5:7 says “casting all your cares on him for he cares for you.” What I mean to say is this, God will hear those prayers, but prayer is not about us getting what we want, and sometimes I think I treat it that way. However Prayer is about spending time with God. God does not need me, but I feel a great sense of sadness in treating someone I claim to love that way. I feel sad because of the Great love with which He has loved me. I feel I am missing the best part of my time if I ask God to help the circumstance, but do not allow time for Him to show me His heart. And that I am doing an injustice to Him when I know He truly wants to spend time with me. Yes He wants to hear my anxieties but not only that, He wants all of my heart. Paul was a man who cherished Christ as the Beloved. Am I?
I will make a time this week to spend alone with God and worship Him.