Day Twenty One: Your are Loved Unconditionally and Everlastingly

You are loved, simply because you exist. You don’t have to earn it, just receive it. Open to those who love you without conditions. Awaken to God’s all-encompassing love – a love that embraces everlastingly all creation. Just as you are, you are loveable.

Sometimes the last place we expect to find God’s presence is in our own lives. The world is filled with God, others need our care, but often we forget about ourselves. We see ourselves as God-forsaken, having to earn God’s love rather than gracefully receive it. We encourage others to care for themselves but push ourselves to the breaking point, neglecting our own boundaries and well-being.

God’s words to Jesus – “you are my beloved child” – apply to you. God loves you and wants you to love yourself. You were created in God’s image, reveal divine wisdom in every cell of your body, and are given a blessing along with a mission.

You are loved. You don’t have to do anything. Just accept the love that brought you into life and will bring you home. The Dalai Lama once stated that the greatest blessing is to be born into loving arms and die in loving arms. When I think of God’s abundant love, I think of my five month old grandson – he can’t take care of himself and often wakes his parents and grandparents in the night, but he is loved simply because he is. The whole universe of love is centered on this little child; he is sustained by the energy that created the universe, and so are you. God is present giving you life and breath and love, and telling you to love yourself as your gift to the universe and to others.

Perhaps, as you look in the mirror today, you can stop and say “I am God’s beloved child; I am loved just as I am; and I give love to everyone I meet.”

For today’s affirmations, dwell on God’s love for you and God’s call to love yourself.

I love myself just as I am.
I treat myself with love, taking time for rest and refreshment.
My love for myself embraces everyone I meet.
I love myself (by a particular action).

Take time today for a personal Sabbath, an action that refreshes and renews – meditation, a walk in a beautiful space, a bubble bath, a relaxed cup of coffee or tea. Take time to support another person’s Sabbath experience, perhaps, by providing an hour’s respite from child care or elder care, giving a gift certificate, or a back rub or reiki treatment.

About Bruce Epperly

Rev. Bruce Epperly, Ph.D., serves as Pastor at South Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Centerville, MA. Prior to coming to Cape Cod in 2013, he served on the faculties and often in administrative and chaplaincy roles at Georgetown University, Claremont School of Theology, Wesley Theological Seminary, and Lancaster Theological Seminary. Bruce is currently a professor in spirituality, ministry, and theology in the doctoral program at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. He has served as pastor or interim pastor of congregations in Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. He is the author or co-author of over 35 books in the areas of theology, spirituality, ministerial excellence and spiritual formation, scripture, and healing and wholeness, including Process Theology: Embracing Adventure with God; Finding God in Suffering: A Journey with Job; From Here to Eternity: Preparing for the Next Adventure; and A Center in the Cyclone: Clergy Self-care in the 21st Century.