Loved and chosen

We are loved, and chosen by God

Towards the end of July, a day is allocated to remember and pay tribute to the role of Mary Magdelene in the Christian faith.  She was one of Jesus’ closest friends, and the first to witness the empty tomb. She was commanded by Jesus to take the news of his resurrection to the disciples and from there the good news spread.

But I can’t help thinking that Mary Magdelene gets overlooked.  We are good at remembering and naming other people (often men) from the Bible, but Mary Magdelene often gets forgotten.

Heart in handsIn my last parish was a man called Lawrence.  Lawrence was in his 80s when I knew him. He couldn’t walk without the aid of his sticks, and most of his time he spent at home. Yet Lawrence brought me great joy. He always had a story to tell or a poem to recite. He was full of smiles and laughter. 

And then in my first parish there was Nicky.  Nicky is the single mother of twins, one of whom has cerebral palsy and cannot walk. Yet Nicky has a ‘can do’ attitude – she is the greatest champion of her daughter and her daughter’s condition and is rarely seen without a smile (even when life is hard and tears are close by).

I could go on.  I could continue to list people that I have encountered – people who are not influential or ‘important’.  People who it is easy to overlook, yet people who have had a significant and memorable impact on me.

We are good, aren’t we, at undervaluing ourselves.  Often we may feel that we don’t matter, thinking that we’re not important. But we are. We are loved children of God. In his letter to the church in Rome, Paul addressed this issue:

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  1 Corinthians 1:26-27

My prayer is that whenever we catch ourselves thinking that we’re not important, or feeling overlooked, may we remember that we are loved and chosen by God; we matter to him, we are his.

 Rev Em Coley

This article first appeared in the July 2017 edition of the St Leonard's parish magazine.