Saturday, December 10, 2011


     Do you remember gym class when you were in elementary school?  Some of you are fondly remembering proud moments.   Others of you are wincing.  If you are still in school, I hope you are better at physical education than I was.
     When I was young, I was really little.  To make matters worse, I was not particularly athletic or even very coordinated.  I was a disaster on any team.  In kickball I couldn’t kick.  In softball I couldn’t hit the ball.  I wasn’t big enough to block goals in soccer.  I was afraid to get hit by the ball in dodge ball.  And I couldn’t run for beans.  You can imagine how popular I was when it came time to choose up sides for a game.
     When we all  arrived in gym the first thing we did was pick teams.  Two people, usually the two best players in the class, would be named by the coach as captains.  They would then take turns choosing their players.  Friends would call out, “Pick me, pick me!”  The good players were the obvious first choices.  You can imagine how the rest of us felt, standing around, shuffling our feet, trying not to look too eager or too desperate; inwardly yearning to be chosen.  Eventually there were fewer and fewer of us.  Hearts would rise with expectation, and plummet with despair after each choice.  Then there would be just me and Beth.  It was a bit of a toss up as to which of us was the bigger liability.  The captains would nervously lick their lips and try to decide which of us could possibly be worse.  That was when the teacher would say, “Now children, we can’t start until everyone has been picked.”  Finally, my name would be called, or not.  I always cheered, “Yes!” as if I were on the team that I had really wanted to be on had I been given a choice.  But I wasn’t really kidding anyone.
     I was something of a late bloomer.  Eventually, I became better at sports and better able to laugh at the mistakes I frequently make.
     Do you like to be chosen?  Sure, you do.  When you are picked, it’s special.
      Ephesians  says that God chose us.  He picked us.  He even picked me.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. Ephesians 1:3-6
     God didn’t need to choose us.  He certainly didn’t need to choose me.  There are many people far more eloquent, far more compassionate, and far more holy, that He could have chosen.  God looks out over all people.  He knows every skill and every weakness.  He knows every sin and kindness.  It’s not like He said, “I pick that one because I need what he has.”  We have nothing worthy to offer.  God didn’t choose the best.  He is not like the gym captains who looked for skill or talent.  He decided to choose me and to choose you while we were yet sinners.  He did that before the creation of the world.  God looked all the way through time and saw our pain and possibility. He loved us enough to create us, to choose us, and to send His Son as a ransom for us.
     This is a picture of me dressed as "Tug Boat Annie" for a parade.  My humiliation is now complete.
     Has God chosen YOU?

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