Greetings from the Moderator APRIL 2019
Becoming the People of God
We are always in the process of becoming. At this moment, we are who we were at the time of our birth and yet, at every age and stage of life, we have grown and have developed into the people that are today. Even still, who we are today is not the fullness of who we will be in years to come. For example; when I was born, I weighed 6.8 pounds and my mother named me Erika. Many years later, my first name remains the same and I am still the essence of who I was then, but I have grown well beyond six pounds! Today, I am who I am, but I am not yet who I will be.
The writer of 1 John echoes this sentiment. “See what kind of love the Father has given to us in that we should be called God’s children, and that is what we are!...Dear friends, we are God’s children now; and it has not yet been made clear what we will become. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. (1 John 3:1a, 2-3)”
In baptism, God claimed us as God’s beloved children. At creation, God saw all that God had made, and it was very good. At this very moment, we are good in God's eyes and yet we are on our way to becoming better. As a result, our humanity and our behavior may sometimes be less than the best. Nevertheless, God looks at us with a heart of love and declares that we are good – just the way we are. No matter what we’ve done or what we’ve left undone; no matter what we’ve said, or have left unsaid; no matter where we’ve gone or have failed to go; we are God’s beloved children.
According to Henri Nouwen, “Becoming the Beloved is the great spiritual journey we [all] have to make… Becoming the Beloved means letting the truth of our Belovedness become enfleshed in everything we think, say, or do.” 
At points along this journey, we may find that our spirits are low as we realize our sinful nature, but, as we bask in God’s mercy, our hearts will be lifted in the light of God’s acceptance. On our way to becoming, we may begin as bashful disciples, but, as we grow in God’s grace, we will find ourselves living as bold declarers of God’s love. Initially, we may be hesitant to say anything in the face of injustice, but, as we grow in our understanding of the claim of God on our lives, it will be hard to remain silent when injustice abounds.
So often we base who we are by what we do or by what we’ve failed to do. However, if Lent tells us anything, it reminds us that we are in the process of becoming. Time spent in prayer and reflection and in meditation and repentance will give way to spiritual renewal and a greater revelation of who and whose we are and who we are called to become in this world.
The disciplines of Lent aid us in the process of becoming. Many factors shape us, and the truth remains, we are God’s beloved children. May we live into this truth, day by day.
 Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith, by Henri J. M. Nouwen with Michael J. Christensen and Rebecca J. Laird, HarperCollins, 2015.