The Pastor's Buzz

Pastor Buzz Trexler's blog for God's people in The Meadow.

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Name: Buzz Trexler
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Journalist for 29 years; married to Donna for 28 years; parent of David, 27, and Elizabeth, 24; pastor of Green Meadow United Methodist Church in Alcoa since 2002.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Be-loved of the Father ...

The story goes that on June 16, 2004, David Goldman said goodbye to his son, Sean, at Newark Airport, not knowing that it would be the last time he would see the boy for years. It was the beginning of an international child abduction case.

By nearly all accounts, David Goldman was a caring, loving father. The outcome, though more than six years in the making, was that father and son were reunited on Christmas Eve 2009.

In the midst of that journey, David Godlman told NBC News, “Every day that I’m missing my son, and my son is missing me, is nothing sort of a tragedy.”

Any one who followed this story at all, even the greatest cynic, would know that

Sean is the beloved of his father, David Goldman.

It was seen in the eyes of the father.

And it was heard in his words.

“I love you Sean. I love you. I love you.”

As I was preparing for Baptism of the Lord Sunday, I was struck by the words of one of my favorite conteporary theologians, the late Henri J.M. Nouwen, who was a spiritual member of a community of people with mental disabilities. In his message, “The Life of the Beloved,” Nouwen says he “learned a lot from people with disabilities about what it means to be the beloved.”

“Many of the people that I live with hear voices that tell them that they are no good, that they are a problem, that they are a burden, that they are a failure. They hear a voice that keeps saying, ‘If you want to be loved, you had better prove that you are worth loving. You must show it.’

“But what I would like to say is that the spiritual life is a life in which you gradually learn to listen to a voice that says something else, that says, ‘You are the beloved and on you my favor rests.’”

As baptized children of God, we need to embrace our belovedness, for as co-heirs with Jesus Christ, we, too, are the beloved.

Nouwen reminds us that it is only in embracing our own uniqueness, our blessedness, and our own brokenness that we can bless others in their brokenness.

In a thank-you statement released on Christmas Eve following the reuniting with his son, Sean, David wrote:

“Please know that my love and the rest of Sean's family's love for him knows no boundaries and we will go to the ends of the Earth to protect him and shower him with every ounce of love that we have.”

That’s what God longs to do for God’s be-loved: To shower us with his unending love that knows no height, nor width, nor depth.

Grace and peace ...

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