As I prayed in vigil last night, I found myself drawn to a few phrases of Scripture, but none more than Jesus’ mandate to us to love one another as I have loved you.
I was particularly drawn to the “as”… how has Jesus loved me? How am I to love others? The short answer is: completely. But other descriptors amplify. He loves:
- fully aware of failings;
- in faithfulness;
- in unbelief;
- to an unmeasurable measure;
- for all of known time and more;
- in lack of understanding;
- in moments of clarity;
- in defiance;
- in relience;
- in service;
- in hesitance;
What would you add to the list? Please post.
This list, no matter how we flesh it out, cannot completely describe the “as” can it? The holy, complete, sacrificial love of God in Christ is beyond measure, and yet, it is that sort of fullness of love to which Jesus’ command calls us to give to each other. Caring without limit, love without boundary, love that calls us to holiness and obedience to the Lover.
My experience of love among people, even within the community of believers, has not always appeared to reach for this depth of love. I am aware of my own failures, as well. Our human “need” to be right, or best, or important, or in charge; to get our own way while claiming God’s blessing upon it brings us to a heady, broken place which is quite apart from the transforming love that Jesus models for us. It is sadly apparent to all who look in that there are many of us falling short of what we preach – do they see “the rest of the story”? Do we let them see us in repentence? Do we tell them about transformation? Do we tell them about the freedom of forgiveness? Grace abounds, and it’s sole source is God in Christ.
The pure, unadulterated grace of Christ is why this Friday is particularly Good. Jesus demonstrated his love for us in forsaking the humanity to which he humbled himself for us; battling death to win an open way for us to follow into the eternal, the limitless, the unfathomable and know the unknowable community that is God Almighty – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and to enter into it by the standing invitation, “Come, follow me.”
The mind fails, but this heart rejoices at the wonder of the cross.