Our son sawed lumber, hammered nails, and used a paintbrush dipped in Mediterranean Olive green to create custom made doors for our bathroom closet. There are any number of things a twenty-year-old guy could do with his Saturday. He chose to give his away.
When Jesus gathered in the Upper Room for the last time with his disciples, he was clear about two things:
- He was going to leave them physically, but physical separation did not mean spiritual separation.
- They were to love one another with the same kind of love Jesus had demonstrated for them.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34, 35)
Shortly, he would provide the greatest possible illustration of that love, a self-giving that seeks the good of its object at any cost.
Confronted with this quality and degree of love for fellow sinners, a love that transcended natural affinity, geography, and even cultural differences, the world came to recognize that the disciples had “been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13)
There were any number of things Jesus could have done with his life here on Earth.
He chose to give it away.
Coming into the celebration of Lent next week with Ash Wednesday, we will be reading Uncovering the Love of Jesus: A Lent Devotional around our dining room table. Asheritah Ciuciu brings the observance of Lent into everyday life with daily devotions and suggestions for fun family activities and celebrations.
The love Jesus put on display was characterized by sacrifice, the embodiment of a selfless my-life-for-yours. Viewed through this lens, Lent becomes a participation in sacrificial love. The question, “What should I give up for Lent?” is no longer an “equation of earning; it’s a response of gratefuless.” (15) We don’t give up chocolate or Netflix or social media to earn more of God’s love or favor. God’s love is already given in full measure.
What if, instead, we all entered into our Lenten celebration with the question, “Who is God calling me to love?”
Many thanks to Moody Publishing for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which, of course, is offered freely and with honesty.
Because of His love,
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. If you should decide to purchase Uncovering the Love of Jesus: A Lent Devotional or Bible and Breakfast: 31 Mornings with Jesus–Feeding Our Bodies and Souls Togethersimply click on the title within the text, and you’ll be taken directly to Amazon. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
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