Week 1 Devotional Intro: All Are Beloved Children of God

As a means of creating a roadmap leading to conference, let’s begin where we left off, with a heavy focus on “belonging.” All are beloved children of God, not only because God is gracious, but because we all bear God’s image and likeness. Let us imagine for a moment that you and I have shed all of our familial, cultural and societal labels. I venture to say that we would be left with nothing more than our pure essence as God's children. Consider the possibility that inherently we are all the same, intended to share in deep and unchangeable equity. If we all believed this incredible supposition, I believe there would be no prejudice, patriarchy, or discrimination of any kind.

Reflection Questions:

  • If we are all made in the likeness and image of God, why then do we prioritize our differences, rather than our inherent belonging?

  • If you were to take a moment to see that we all share in God’s essence, all equally important, which barriers, cliques, and camps might you have to deconstruct?

  • Would you agree that as a means of doing social justice we must first embrace self-love? That is to say, loving your neighbor as you love yourself requires that you first learn to fully love yourself. In this light, might you agree that relational justice (loving self and neighbor) is the foundation for social justice?

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