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Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Reason for Joy

“Having loved his own who were in the world,
he now showed them the full extent of his love.” John 13:1b NIV

This morning I am remembering Jesus’ last night alone with his disciples. It was an intimate time of fellowship. During those precious few remaining hours before his death Jesus found amazing ways to show the disciples the full extent of his love. There were last minute instructions, an example of service, a symbolic meal, future predictions, a promise, a lesson, a prayer, and a song. In just a few short hours Jesus reminded them of all the really important things that they would need to remember after he was gone. All that information was perfectly stated in a “Heads Up I’m Leaving 101” class.

Jesus lovingly washed the feet of his disciples, as an example of service. The symbolic meal of bread and wine told the disciples of his upcoming sacrifice. He predicted his betrayal and his death. He predicted Peter’s denial. He told them that in this world they would have trouble and to expect it. He told them not to be troubled by all this because he was going away to prepare a place for them and that he would come back to get them. Then there was the important lesson of the vine bearing fruit, being pruned, and how important it was to remain in him. John 15:1-8 Last but not least, Jesus prayed for those he loved and then before leaving the Upper Room, they all sang a song of praise.

I remember sending my daughter, Amy, off to college. Was I really going to let her out of my sight? Was she prepared? How in the world would she manage without me? In an effort to show her the full extent of my “love,” in the last few hours that we were together I spit out volumes of information from the book “Leaving Mom 101!”

My husband and I drove her to college and helped set up her room, (surely that was an example of service). We shared a “last super” nothing really too symbolic except it reminded me that our family always ate together and now she would be missing. I also had a few future predictions that I needed to share like; if you wash your red shirt with your underwear you will have pink undies! If you don’t clean your room, you won’t be able to find your bed! Then there was the promise that we would see her at Thanksgiving. I also had the need to give her a quick lesson on time management so that she could produce good grades by staying focused on her grades instead of boys. I whispered a heartfelt prayer for my daughter and lastly we shared sweet parting words. Although those loving, parting words were not set to music, they were words set to the music of unending love.

As mothers, when we raise our children we are always caring for them and teaching them all the important things that they will need to know in life. We eat with them, and we sing and pray with them. We also warn them of life’s pitfalls. Most importantly, we endeavor to show them the full extent of our love by our sacrifices, our actions and our words. Above all we want them to be happy.

Jesus does not promise us a perfect life but he does go to great lengths to show us the full extent of his love for us. This is indeed reason for joy!


Can you relate to Jesus’ loving care for you?

Where has the extent of his love been the most meaningful to you in your life?

How can you show that kind of love to others?


Dear Jesus,

Thank you for showing me the full extent of your love by dying on the cross for me. Help me to share with others the elements of love that you modeled in the upper room. Help me to share a meal when there is a need. Help me to take on your humbleness in serving others. Help me to share the truths of my faith so that others will know the full extent of you love. Lord Jesus I do anticipate with great joy your return.

In Your Name I pray, Amen.