So why ‘Beloved Life’? Perhaps most importantly, the name seemed to come as something of a gift. It just felt good and right and – well – gifted. Then we liked the sound of it. And it is deep within the ancient Jesus tradition that we are exploring: the relationship between Lover and Beloved is at the heart of the Song of Songs, one of the texts of the Jewish faith that shaped the wisdom and life of Jesus, inspired the Gospel writers and fired the imagination of some of the mystics we love, like St John of the Cross.
According to the Gospels, at the beginning of Jesus’ public life, in his baptism in the wilderness by John the Baptizer, a voice is heard from heaven calling Jesus the Beloved. This happens again on the mountain in the amazing Transfiguration story. Jesus himself uses the phrase in one of his parables. And in the early church the term Beloved began to be used to describe the followers of Jesus. And here’s the other thing – allowing ourselves to be loved is a vital step in enabling us to bring love – and goodness in all its forms – to the world. Here’s to the Beloved Life!