Friday, January 09, 2009


I’m a big one for choruses. Sometimes it’s the words, sometimes it’s the tune, sometimes it’s a particular arrangement of the song and sometimes it’s a combination of all these factors and more that make choruses so memorable. A chorus I remember singing from the time I was in my early teens is called ‘Beloved’ and it’s taken straight from 1 John 3:2. It’s a catchy tune and the set tempo for it is rather upbeat and set to get at least to the foot tapping stage. As ever in these journeys, I liked the song on one level for a while and then something happened to make me appreciate it (and the scriptural context) even more.

Recently however I was arrested by that first word in the verse. I spent hours meditating and pondering on just that one word. I remember singing the song in my head and just focussing on that word and other variations of it (i.e. we’re-loved, you’re-loved, etc.).

When arrested by this at times I am overwhelmed with emotions of joy and tearful gratitude.

It is real.

He loves me.

That love is the source of John being able to appeal to the readers and remind them of their status as the loved ones and it’s for us to just be-loved. That’s a receptive thing – that’s not a proactive, get up and go thing. That’s not a works-based project for us to get busy with. That is something to make us stop and consider and open out hearts and minds to this invitation to be loved.

Food in the morning – I’m-loved. Clothes to wear – I’m-loved. Wife to behold – I’m-loved. Children to father – I’m-loved. Vocation to fulfil my time on earth – I’m-loved. Relationships that mean the world to me – I’m-loved. Interests and hobbies that allow me to connect with a wide diversity of people – I’m-loved.

Above all this and beyond all this and the foundation of all this is the realisation of the gracious act of a caring Father to see me so far away from Him in sin and reach out with tender kindness and say ‘look to the cross where My only Son died’. And my heart breaks. The food will rot and the clothes will fade. The wife and children will die and the relationships will change. Hobbies and interests are fads of time never staying, always changing.

But the cross. But my God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. But the love of the Father so incredible to consider and so gloriously expressed forever in the empty tomb and the risen Saviour. In all that He’s saying so much – He says He is holy and just and must punish the wicked. He says He wants the world to be saved through Him. Most importantly of all He looks at the miserable wretch of a sinner like me and says – Christopher Luketon John Dryden, you are loved.

That is so amazing.

Having done nothing to deserve it; having done everything to warrant the exact opposite. Understanding that it has nothing to do with what I have done, what I do or what I will do, but everything to do with what He has done.

He who created the universe. He who holds all power in His hand. He whose wisdom and knowledge remains unsurpassed. He whose power cannot be fathomed or contained. He whose presence is from eternity to eternity. The self-sufficient One – the Holy One – the Perfect One. He loves me.

So having those thoughts in my head recently and meditating on that one word it was more than appropriate that I should come across this clip with a superb explanation of it from Washer’s own perspective. It makes everything make a bit more sense – I can understand a bit more that it is because of the love of the Son that I am set free and that should I focus on that a lot more then I won’t have to strive out of a need of affirmation, but my motives and actions are driven from an assurance that I am loved of the Father and loved of the Son with a pure, holy, life-giving love that allows me to share it however I can with whomever I can. Not for want of reward or approval, but to be pleasing to the one who continues to say – beloved.

For His Name’s Sake

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