I was torn today - between turning verse 34 or 35 into an instagramable quote thingy. I went with 35 because, well, it struck me.
Ya know - yesterday morning - I stared at the dreaded blinking cursor for yesterday's post for about ... well ... too long. I started at the cursor yesterday morning, yesterday afternoon - again in the evening ... finally I felt I had something to say.
Honestly - what I had to say wasn't different from what I'd thought to say right off the bat yesterday morning - but the problem was I'd started thinking - "why would anyone in the world still want to hear about this topic - 29 days in?". Then I put the "what was I thinking" maraschino cherry on top.
It is a little daunting to imagine 46 different ways to say "Jesus loves you" - even if they're all right there in the Bible.
And yet - maybe the clever bit isn't saying that Jesus loves you" 46 different ways - but rather the same way over and over. It's not that we're too daft to get the words the first time around. It's more that those words have to travel "the deadly 12 inches" from our brains to our hearts.
46 days is like a tiny sampler pack of all the ways that Jesus loves us. We could hear those words for thousands upon thousands of days in the greatest streak ever before we'd understand them enough to make the second part of today's passage remotely natural; the loving one another part.
So - we're a month into Lent and there are just 16 more days until Easter. I have 16 more verses to go through. Since day one my laptop has crashed, the cat ate the rubber-band off my note-card stack of verses (yep - I'm that analog) - and sent my carefully ordered but not numbered cards flying all over the house (I believe I found them all ... though not all of the rubber-band :/ ). You've had lots going on in the last month too - and there's this big holiday coming up in just a couple of weeks to get ready for. I'm immensely grateful for you coming along on this journey because I can not think of anything more valuable to anyone's faith than aligning ourselves with what motivated Jesus to do what He did. And I can't help but think that the number one reason Christians aren't always as associated with Jesus' motivation as we'd like - is because we're not as rooted and soaked, and marinated in His Love as He'd like. Christians loving like mad is natural - if we're in the habit of letting Him slather His love on our parched souls. Putting on the love of Jesus is like showering, eating, sleeping ... life's a little better when we do it on the daily. It's like a paraphrase of Romans 8:31 - "If Jesus loves me, what can go wrong?" - in light of that - it's worth saying again ...
"So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13: 34-35