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God chose you—yes, you!

December 2, 2022

Daily Scripture

John 15:12-17

12 This is my commandment: love each other just as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than to give up one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I don’t call you servants any longer, because servants don’t know what their master is doing. Instead, I call you friends, because everything I heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You didn’t choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you could go and produce fruit and so that your fruit could last. As a result, whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. 17 I give you these commandments so that you can love each other.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Discouraged, Rudolph drifted away from his parents and the other reindeer. The narrator tells us that “Old Donner…decided the only thing to do was to go out and look for his little buck.” * That was what God, in the person of Jesus, did for us. He told his followers he didn’t call them servants, but friends. And the defining “fruit” he asked them to produce was to join in carrying out his mission—to live in God’s love, to love one another and to share that love with others.

  • Jesus said, “You didn’t choose me, but I chose you.” You might think, “I remember coming to Coffee with the Pastors, filling out forms, reciting the Apostles’ Creed. I’m pretty sure I chose to join this church.” We do indeed make choices as we follow Jesus—but in making those choices, we are responding to the ways God first reached out to us. Are you thankful God chose you to be part of God’s family?
  • Read verses 12-15 of this passage again. If a workplace project leader or a pastor told a group that included you that, in that spirit, she’d chosen you to “bear fruit,” do you think you’d feel “bossed around,” or would you be eager to bear that kind of “fruit”? How might that kind of message shape communication and cooperation as you moved forward? How can you make that truer in whatever ways you serve God’s kingdom?

Lord Jesus, we’re 2,000 years into your great human building project, and it’s still going. Help my life to bear fruit, making your kingdom more real to people I care about. Amen.

GPS Insights

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Lauren Cook

Lauren Cook is the Entry Points Program Director at Resurrection, a self-proclaimed foodie, a bookworm, and is always planning her next trip. She has the sweetest (and sassiest) daughter, Carolina Rae, a rockstar husband, Austin, and a cutie pup named Thunder. She loves connecting with others so let her know the best place you've ever eaten, best book you've ever read, or best place you've ever been!

Sam the Snowman delivers the opening line of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and he says, “If I live to be a hundred I’ll never be able to forget…” He is talking about a snowstorm, but I am talking about another memory.

When I was 10 or 11 years old, I tried out for one of my first competitive dance teams. I wanted it so badly, as dance had been the constant in my life up until then. Dance was who I was–when I was dancing I felt so safe, so at peace, so real. I practiced and practiced and when tryouts came, I made sure that my leotard was clean, my tights didn’t have even the slightest run, my ballet shoes were broken in, and my hair was pristine. I poured my heart out in that little dance studio. When the list came out… my name was not on it.

It was crushing. I immediately felt shame and embarrassment. I felt like something was wrong with me. I felt that I needed to work harder and longer than everyone else to make up for this and to become good enough. And I did.

A year or so later, I was chosen to be a part of the traveling Moscow Russian Ballet Company for their American production of The Nutcracker. I was so excited, but do you know what my first thought was? I should’ve gotten a better part. I still didn’t feel good enough. And I was chosen! What’s up with that?

Here’s what’s up. We are constantly being told we aren’t good enough in this world. We are bombarded with messages that others have it better, others are prettier, have a more “put-together” family, are more fit, are better cooks, have a better job, have more friends, have a better marriage, you name it. I was ten when I started believing I wasn’t good enough, and that was before social media. I’ve now spent 20 more years hearing these messages, seeing them all around me, and letting them make a dent in my heart.

We all have the whisper (or maybe even a shout) in our hearts telling us that we aren’t good enough, that we aren’t measuring up in some way. We’ve had experiences where we were let down and not chosen by someone or for something that we wanted. We were left out. And we have hurt.

But then comes the part of the story when Santa tries to cancel Christmas because the storm is too great, and instead recognizes Rudolph’s unique gift (his nose!) and chooses him to save Christmas and lead the sleigh! For us, this is the part of the story we get to John 15:16, when we learn that He chose us, too.

You do not have to measure up to any unspoken societal ruler. You do not have to have a perfect family or be able to cook a perfect four-course meal. You do not have to be the best accountant, the best partner, the best friend anyone has ever had. You do not have to make Christmas the most magical it’s ever been for the people around you. You don’t have to find the perfect gifts. You don’t have to have it all together. You don’t even have to choose God right now. Before you ever choose Him, He chose you.

You are chosen. You are loved. You are so important. You matter. I am so grateful for you and for all that you bring to this world. Believe this today. I’m believing it for you!

Merry Christmas,

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

“Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer Quotes.” STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 21 Nov. 2022.,_the_red-nosed_reindeer_quotes_9778.