I saw the eyes before I noticed anything else. Agnes and Gary knew I was a big fan of Pixar’s Toy Story. So when I went into my office I recognized it right away. Sitting there, and staring back at me, was a hat with the face of one of the three-eyed, green alien toys from the third movie in the franchise. The words “I have been chosen” were written on one of the Mickey ears. The other ear had a picture veryone that I can come up with a message for the kids by using just about anything. I have a lot of toys and memorabilia in my office and they’ve all been used to tell the kids about Jesus. Well, they put me to the test.
Saying something and doing something are two completely different things. “How am I going to use this in a message?” I thought to myself. Then it hit me. The following week I was going to use it to tell the children that we have all been chosen by God. He chooses us to be a part of his family. Then I would use it in the sermon to bring home the major point.
I have to confess that I felt a little goofy putting on those green Mickey ears. Yet, the kids loved it. So did the adults. The truth is that words don’t always convey the deep impact of a message that a prop can. For example, many of us take what God did for granted. We know Jesus died on the cross to take away our sin. It’s easy to miss the larger point of why he did it. He loves us.
Ephesians 1:4 says that God chose us even before the world was formed. He reached out and claimed us as his own. In Psalm 8 King David looks up to the heavens and declares, “What is man that you are mindful of him, human beings that you care for them?” So if this is true, why did God choose us?
The song by the group, Casting Crowns, says it like this: “Who am I that the Lord of all the earth would care to know my name? Would care to feel my hurt? Who am I that the bright and morning star would choose to light the way for my ever wandering heart?” God chose us, not because of who we are, but because of who God is. God is great and glorious and full of love.
That’s the message of the cross. God loved us so much that he made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could be with him for all of eternity. He chose us because he saw the potential in us to be all that we were created to be. We are far from perfect but he picks us up and draws us in so that his glory can cover us and make us more like him.
You may not see that story line in Pixar’s movies but it is all right there in the Bible. The important thing to know is that it doesn’t matter how far you think you are from God right now, he hasn’t given up on you. He’s reaching out in love and he is ready to bring you home. Why? Because you’ve been chosen.
The Rev. Cal Lord is pastor of Central Baptist Church in Westerly.