Moses convened all Israel, and said to them: You are a people holy to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on earth to be his people, his treasured possession. (Deuteronomy 7:6 NRSV).
These words are both a reason for celebration and a word of caution. God really does love and cherish us as God’s own treasured possession. We also have a tremendous responsibility to the One who treasures us.
In this reading from the Hebrew Scriptures, God has brought Israel out of the slavery of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. God is challenging the people through Moses to see how much they are loved by God, that God let nothing stand in God’s way of delivering them. Not even the Red Sea.
As Christians, our God showed us how much we are treasured by giving us Jesus Christ who died a horrible death to save us from our own bondage. The bondage of living and believing that we are only worth what we say, do, think, believe, own, smell, taste, see and touch. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have been redeemed and reclaimed by God. We have not been reclaimed to continue to live by our false-sense of self. We have been redeemed to own nothing. God is so madly in love with us, that God wants us to search for and find union with God with a pure heart.
May we contemplate on this Thursday after Ash Wednesday, how much we are treasured by God. May we bask in the Light of God’s love and enjoy being God’s treasured possession.
Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB