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When Emmanuel was born, more than nine years ago, I began rather instinctively, but clumsily, saying, “you’re loved”, before he’d fall asleep. I’ve continued that tradition with my other children, saying those same words to them during our bedtime routine. It still feels a little strange. I mean I could have simply gotten into the habit of saying, “I love you”, but somehow I was more drawn to the passive voice.
I’ve pondered this nuanced expression of love a few times in the past nine years. I believe the reason for this voice is that I wanted them to know that they are loved well beyond me; that they are loved intrinsically for who they are, irrespective of me or anyone else. I’d be happy to live to 100, and always be by their side to lift them up, but I guess I instinctively wanted them to be well – in their lives and in their ‘skin’ – apart from a dependence on anyone else. I wanted to build in them an appreciation that they were willed into being by a loving Creator…by God. I’ve mustered up the strength to pen these words, speak about God and share this story because we’re on the cusp of Eastertime – a time when we have the opportunity to reconnect more closely with God as revealed to us through the Bible. A God who loves and is love.
As millions of people around the globe, country and right here in Uxbridge, gather at Church during the next few days, we’ll be contemplating the story of Jesus of Nazareth – somehow kin to us and yet divine. The facsimile of a force, also known affectionately as “Abba”, or “Daddy”, that so loved the world that he gave his only son to lead us to our future home and show us how to live in peace and sow peace in our community. None of us is perfect at loving or living a virtuous life. But we’re all perfectly loved – my kids, your kids and each one of us. We’re all loved. Let’s shout it from the rooftops. Happy Easter!