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We Are God's Chosen People Not God's Protected People

Posted: June 26, 2016 by Rob Voyle

The harshness of the Gospel, Luke 9:51-62, for this coming Sunday and the random
violence of our times reminded me of a comment author and retreat leader Jim
Finley once made:

"We are God's chosen people not God's protected people."

I don't know about you but there are many days I would rather be protected than
chosen. But clearly that is not the case and the challenge of why bad things
happen to good people confronts many in our day and in the days of all of

It is clear we are pilgrims, not settlers on this earth, and the harsh reality
of death awaits us all. For some it comes too soon. For others it is preceded
with lots of suffering.

To make sense of the randomness of violence and death many resort to simplistic
expressions of cause and blame that are often repugnant to anyone with a shred
of common sense and compassion.

While the reality of eternal life offers protection in the ultimate sense, it is
in the future, and in the meantime their is suffering with which we have to
respond. Trusting in the idea that we are protected when clearly we are not is
unhelpful. Rather than relying on a false certainty of protection I find the
ambiguity of being chosen to be more comforting.

But for what have we been chosen. It is very easy to let the idea of being
chosen to blossom into arrogance rather than humility. I think Micah gets it
right. We have been chosen to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk
humbly with our God.

As a Christian I would say I have been chosen to be as liberal in sharing God's
love, mercy, and forgiveness as Jesus was and is.

With gratitude for the joys of this life and God's love and presence in the hard

A prayer:

Almighty God, you have made us your chosen people, not your protected people.
You have given us a lodging in this world but not an abiding city. Help us in
this present moment, as a pilgrim people, to endure hardship and delight in
goodness, knowing that we have your love in our hearts with a work to do, and at
the end of our journey we know the joy of our homecoming and the welcome of your
embrace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Rob Voyle
Director, Clergy Leadership Institute

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The Appreciative Way

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About the Author

Rob Voyle

Rob Voyle

The Rev. Dr. Rob Voyle is a leader in the development and use of appreciative inquiry in church and coaching settings.

Rob's Approach to Training

  • Helpful: Training must provide practical, sustainable solutions for today's challenges.
  • Humorous: Creativity and humor go together as people enjoy new insights.
  • Healing: I create opportunities for people to experience transformational insights that lead to new ways of living, working, and being in the world.

>>   See more on Rob's
        Helpful, Humorous, Healing
        approach to training.