Before our youngest son was born, we had two possible names for a boy (plus one for a girl as we didn’t know what we were expecting). We really couldn’t decide between the two, so decided that we needed to see him, before we decided which to choose. He was known and loved before he was born, but we wanted to see him in the flesh, to get a feel for him and get to know him, before committing ourself to naming him.
God has always known our name. He knew us well enough to name us before we were born. He loves us so much – do we realise that in our lives?
I had very precarious pregnancies, so I guess we were even more aware of the preciousness of life – and these lives especially. But as I consider the depth of my love for those lives, it gives me but a glimpse of the enormity of God’s love for me. I could only dream of what my babies might be – though I’ve rarely been disappointed. God knows everything there is to know about me – and loves me entirely. God knew me from the minute I was conceived, and will know me to the day I die – and all the while goes on loving me. When I disappoint him, when I let him (and myself) down, when I get things spectacularly wrong – he keeps on loving me.
49 Everyone, listen,
even you foreign nations
across the sea.
The Lord chose me
and gave me a name
before I was born.
2 He made my words pierce
like a sharp sword
or a pointed arrow;
he kept me safely hidden
in the palm of his hand.
4 The Lord said:
5 “Jeremiah, I am your Creator,
and before you were born,
I chose you to speak for me
to the nations.”
I guess the question for me, is will I allow his love to touch me? Can I let my hard exterior down, to risk allowing him to reach me, and do his work of love. Allowing yourself to be loved, is opening yourself up, making yourself vulnerable – but it is the only way God can get in. Whatever our experiences of human love have been, God’s love is perfect, the love of the one who created us. His love is the one that fully completes us, if we let it.
may I allow your love
to fill my emptiness,
heal my brokenness,
fill my empty places.
May I know the depth of your love
in the places that hurt,
in the bits that feel unlovely,
in the parts that feel worthless,
and the things in me that others have rejected.
Thank you for loving me
This year for Advent, some friends and I are using Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen. You’re welcome to join us on this journey. Feel free to comment here, or on Twitter using #adventbookclub
Also blogging on the #adventbookclub are: