I Have Called You By Name; You Are Mine
Is there any thing in the world so heart warming and priceless as the feeling of belonging? I've always thought that it was a wonderful thing that I am a part of something greater (like the human race) - and that in the billions of people alive at this time, there are those who call me friend: I belong in their merry company.
Everyone who has been baptized is also chosen and redeemed by the Living God, adopted into a family that stretches from the institution of the sacrament through the present into the distant future. We are members of one VERY extended family. Although we are adopted through grace and the Spirit, we are known simply as the children of God (not God's adopted children). Created by the Creator, loved from our existence, we have the opportunity to go through our time in this world doing things that bring joy to all members of our family. We are given the choice of doing well or ill by each other. If I can keep in mind that no stranger is a complete stranger to me, no person is an outcast from God's love, it seems easier to fulfill the 'golden rule' of loving God and neighbor.
I have been redeemed and so have you; we are worthy of respect, happiness and fullness of life without fear. Amen and Amen.