As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Abide in my love.
– John 15:9
As we move into Lent next Wednesday, here are some thoughts that are helpful to keep firmly in mind and heart. When you’re going to truly consider and climb down into the depth of your sin (which Lent helps us do), it’s good to tie yourself on with thick rope to something really solid!
We get good hints of what God’s love for us is like through the love that we have for our own children, be they biological, adopted, our nieces and nephews, or godchildren. For many of us it was when we had first had a child entrusted to us jn a meaningful way that our understanding of how our Father in heaven loves us began to really deepen. We can begin relate to it in our hearts, beyond our heads, beyond words. When we’ve been graced in some way with real responsibility for a child because somehow they’ve been given to us, we just love them! We want the best for them, we do the best for them, we sacrifice for them, we feel with them and for them, we’re proud of them, we’ll do in all in our power to help them, we’re forever committed to their growth and we’re forever committed to them, just because we love them.
When I say to one of my own children, “I love you”, and Liam or Karis or Iona or Maira asks, “Why?”, do you know what I say? I say, ”Because you’re my son! Because you’re my daughter!” That’s it, I just love them, each one, individually and desperately, and I will love them, and nothing’s going to change that. That’s how God loves Jesus, and that’s how Jesus loves us. He just does, ours is to believe it, receive it, abide in it, and trust it. The Father loves the Son, in the words of Charles Spurgeon “without beginning, without ending, without change, without bounds!” And, “As the Father has loved me”–in his own words– that’s how much Jesus loves us, each one. Stay there.