He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.
Holy in love
We read this verse on Day 22 in this season of Lent. There we commented on the words “holy and blameless.” We come back to it today because of the importance of the two little words “in love.”
Our tendency is to hear the verse say that God chose us because of God’s great love. But what the text says is that God chose us to be holy in love. Our holiness should be love. Our love should be holy.
Something is holy because it belongs to God, because it is connected to the divine realm, because it is dedicated to God’s use. The pots and pans in the temple are holy because they are dedicated to a sacred purpose. God’s people are holy because they belong to God and are set apart for God’s use.
The world was meant to be holy. It was, in the beginning, holy. It was called forth in perfect love and embodied perfect love. Perfect love: complete faithfulness to God and one another; eyes to see and hearts to treat all people as sisters and brothers, members of a common household.
Into our now profoundly troubled world God came in perfect faithfulness, though we fled, or denied, or taunted, or chose Barabbas. But God is yet summoning the world to himself: calling, gathering, enlightening, sanctifying. Making the world holy. Making us holy. Making us holy in love. Dedicated to God’s purpose. Instruments of God’s perfect love.