Taken or Chosen

I'll be talking this week about being chosen by God, in conjunction with the shepherd imagery in Psalm 23 and John 10:1-10.

These words will be on the bulletin cover:

When I write to you that, as the Beloved, we are
God's chosen ones, I mean that we have been seen by God from all eternity and
seen as unique, special, precious beings…We touch here a great spiritual
mystery: To be chosen does not mean that others are rejected. It is very hard to
conceive of this in a competitive world such as ours…To be chosen as the
Beloved of God is something radically different. Instead of excluding others, it
includes others. Instead of rejecting others as less valuable, it accepts others
in their own uniqueness. It is not a competitive, but a compassionate

Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved