Nouwen’s book moves on from the idea of us being chosen and beloved, to look at us through the words of Holy Communion – taken, blessed, broken and given.
Within the words of Holy Communion we remember that Jesus took bread. There are many encounters with Jesus which involve him taking bread – feeding the five thousand, and the road to Emmaus, to name two. Taking the bread is the first step, the first act.
Being taken is also our own first act as being beloved. ‘Taken’ is a word that is often misunderstood, having a negative imagine – being stolen, removed; perhaps we prefer the word ‘chosen’. In order to be a beloved child of God we need to allow ourselves to be taken, or chosen. That doesn’t mean that others aren’t chosen too – they are; its not a select group, everyone can be chosen if they let themselves be.
We need to accept our chosen status. It isn’t an easy life being chosen, but it is full of blessings. Two hymns that look at the idea of being taken or chosen include ‘Take my life and let it be’ (Singing the Faith 566) by Frances Havergal, or ‘Take, O take me as I am’ (Singing the Faith 781) by John Bell. Both ask God to take us, to choose us – the first step to being beloved.
Take me, loving God;
choose me to be yours,
your own, your beloved child.
You love me with a love beyond my understanding;
I know that you accept me as I am,
love me, even when I don’t deserve it.
I accept that I am taken by you, chosen by you:
I am yours, and I accept whatever that means –
the good and the bad, the joys and the sorrows.
I am yours and you are mine,
now and forever.