Scripture Reading: John 20:19-23
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’
As the Father has sent me, so I send you. For what reason was Jesus sent? Marshaling all humans to work toward and achieve a world ruled by love seems to be the primary thrust of Jesus ministry. It started at creation when God the parent imprinted the ability to love in each of us. God’s abiding love shone forth in the gift of Jesus as a role model, a teacher, and ultimately as a Savior. Without question, we each have a major role to play. Love is impotent when it lies dormant; it multiplies exponentially with the smallest expression. What greater example of the phenomenon of love is there than an itinerate preacher, the questionable son of a carpenter who lived perhaps 33 years left the seeds 2,000 years ago that are still producing love today.
Is it human nature to expect a return on any investment we make? Can we love without ever seeing any return? God practices love without any promise of return. If God through Jesus Christ loves without strings, does he expect the same behavior from us? God’s love is based on the sure and certain knowledge that love always grows more love even when God saw his only son cruelly crucified on a cross.
O Love, that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
O Light, that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to Thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in Thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be*.
Prayer: Let your love flow through me to others. Amen.
*Verses one and two from hymn O, Love that Wilt Not let Me go by George Matheson see at https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/432