This week at my house, love looked like a plate piled high with cheeseburgers. Love resulted in a wheelbarrow loaded down with winter-broken limbs from our back yard. It showed up in new rocker panels for the truck we use in our mowing business–installed by a handy son. Love reached from screen to screen when our blue-eyed granddaughter kissed us goodnight via Facebook Messenger after the virtual story time that is stitching us together in this time of enforced separation.
Maundy Thursday, this fifth day of Holy Week, demands that I examine love in all its forms. Jesus put love on display the night he took up a towel and washed his disciples’ feet like a common house slave. We know they gathered around a meal, and, knowing their hearts so well, Jesus challenged the twelve to rise above their petty rivalries, their political aspirations, and their ethnic pride. The holy mandate–handed down in word and in deed– was to follow their Leader into a life of love:
“I give you a new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you.”
Jesus came into this world knowing that love would lead him to a horrible death.
He came anyway.
We know from experience that love is not safe, and C.S. Lewis puts his finger on the reason why:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. … To love is to be vulnerable.”
The irony of Almighty God becoming vulnerable because of love is staggering, but he shows us the way to true love during this most unusual and most Holy Week: “Love one another as I have loved you.”
What is God’s specific invitation to you in this holy mandate?
Are you willing to let your heart “be wrung and possibly broken” in the way of love?
How can I pray for you in this pursuit?
Blessings to you on this Maundy Thursday,
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