“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” -Jesus
Are you loved? Think about it. Really think about if you believe you are loved.
‘Cause yeah, I can be loved. But I want that love to be qualified: I have to earn it first. I need to do the good thing I should have done. I have to look and act a certain way. I start to bargain. If I feel better about myself, then I can be loved. Really, I don’t want to receive love. I want to achieve it. Yeah, my expectation of love is all screwed up.
Jesus loves like this:
He starts the Sermon on the Mount by blessing all the downtrodden, miserable, sad people.
Despite being equal to the supreme being of the universe, he stops to do disgusting jobs. Like washing feet as a servant girl would. Like embracing folks with festering sores and falling off body parts.
Jesus talks about how any simple field is decorated more lavishly than the richest king. Then he says that God takes care of us much more than that.
He says that the people us self righteous folks see as doing deplorable things will get into God’s world first.
He feeds the thousands of people that overwhelmed the countryside but were too stupid to bring food with them.
He leaves a whole bunch of safe, cuddly, comfortable sheep and goes into the big, bad wilderness to find a lost one.
Jesus sits and listens to the forbidden, hurting woman at the well. The woman from that culture that’s so different from us that we don’t talk to them. And then he loves her whole village.
How can I be loved liked that? We receive love so poorly that we take the savior that’s loving us and we beat him up. We strike him and he turns the other cheek. We do no less than torture him to death. And what does he do? He forgives. Jesus really freaking loves us.
I need to surrender the lies in my head. I will have to surrender lies every day to receive love like that. And if I am really, truly loved this way I am commanded to love others in the same manner. No more giving love the same broken ways I receive it. I’ll have to love, even if people don’t deserve it; even if they haven’t earned it. I’ll have to do things like bless miserable people, do disgusting jobs, lavish upon folks more than royalty, and venture out from my safe cuddly world. I’ll have to be ok with being whacked upside the head. And then… forgive.
This is a big command. Christ have mercy.