God Don't Make No Junk
In the church communities of my youth, we were taught that people were inherently awful. You might think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not--not by a long shot.
I have a distinct memory of some pastor or another preaching on how people are just born bad, and then he used the analogy of how deceitful and manipulative infants could be when they wanted something... like food... or their diaper changed.
I know it's hard to believe but it's that kind of teaching that dominated Christian culture for centuries.
And when the message of your inherent awfulness is one that has been drummed into you by people and institutions you trust, it's really hard to shake the feeling that you aren't all you're cracked up to be.
No wonder there are so many Christians who are angry, argumentative... and afraid.
Thankfully, over the past fifty years or so there have been more and more Christian thinkers, artists pastors, theologians, and authors working toward changing the narrative so many of us were taught.
Beloved, you were not created broken. You have the very imprint of the Almighty within you, planted there from your very beginning. You are beloved by God because you are God's, and God does not forsake God's own.
You might have become broken and bruised through the crashes you've experienced during your life, but you weren't born that way, and thanks be to God you don't have to stay that way either.
Richard Rohr puts it like this:
Our DNA is divine, and the divine indwelling is never earned by any behavior or ritual, but only recognized and realized and fallen in love with.And Jesus demonstrates God's love so clearly in the way that he constantly demonstrated the inherent worth of even those who had been deemed worthless in the eyes of the world.
Theologian Cornelius Plantinga Jr. once wrote:
Isn't it a plain fact that almighty God thinks we are people worth dying for? Did we really think he was only salvaging junk?Come on! If that doesn't fire you up today, I don't know what will. As you pass the mirror today, do me a favor---Stop for a moment, look yourself in the eye and just say this one word: Beloved.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.