In the movie The Preacher’s Wife, Courtney B. Vance plays the discouraged Rev. Henry Biggs, who is helped by an angel. At the climax of the movie, the redeemed reverend gives a rousing Christmas sermon that begins with the word “Beloved.”
I love that movie. It contains the handsome Denzel Washington as Dudley the angel and Whitney Houston as the reverend’s wife. The story is as uplifting as the music.
It’s an old-fashioned word that goes beyond the word “love.”
Love gets around. It slips out in place of “goodbye” with a hug, on telephone calls, in emails and cards.
We “love” food and music, books and movies. We “love” people who are fun to be with. We sometimes “love” our work.
Beloved goes beyond that. It’s intimate, more than love.
It’s hugging your daddy, your face pressed against his white t-shirt and smelling cigarette smoke and Vitalis.
It’s the glances exchanged in the car, when you can’t believe this wonderful person is still sitting next to you after 40 years of growing up together.
It’s a grandchild, almost as big as you, crawling up on your lap for a snuggle
And beloved is of God.
The Bible tells us that we are God’s sons and daughters. We are His beloved. That most intimate of loves.
In his movie sermon, the Rev. Biggs says to look at face of someone you love is to see the face of God.
I see you.
Merry Christmas, Beloved.