Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Friends of God - Lent Day 14

THE FIRST SUPPER by Colin O'Loughlin

Lent series, continued. Day 14:
"I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead I call you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made know to you." - Jesus (John 15:15)

Sometimes I try to get my mind (my very small mind) around the astonishing fact that Jesus values me as a friend. Yes, the Son of the Living God, of one substance (homo-ousia) with the Father, Emmanuel, Creator of the Universe, Prince of Peace - has made the deliberate point of calling us his friends.

I typically don't begin to realize just how mind-boggling this is. To put it into perspective, think about those people you know who are name-droppers; maybe you're one yourself.: "Yes, congressman so and so... Neighbors of mine... Played golf with him... Cute kids too..."

In England there is a whole series of circles that emanates from the social epicenter known as "The Royal Family" or "The Royals" for those in the know. Apparently jockeying for position and trying to be in contact with someone one level closer to ground zero is serious business for social climbers; and people achieve something resembling Nirvana when Queen Elizabeth II actually calls them by name. (I know this because my cousin, one of the Queen's closest friends - she likes to play Monopoly with him - told me about it).

Now conceptualize this: The King of Kings and Lord of Lords knows us by name. God calls us friends. Grasp even a small part of what that really means - especially as compared to some terrestrial luminary reading your name from a card while waiting for the next 300 people to shake hands and promise campaign money!
  • "And I love you so much that I am prepared to lay down my life for you. Do you understand the measure of my personal regard for you? Peter... David... Sally... Derek... Steve... Rebekah... JoEllen... Karin... Lee... I love you so completely..."
Jesus loves us so completely that obedience, love, joy, and death can all be uttered in the same paragraph. Remember that fruit we were talking about yesterday, connected to the true vine, sustained by Jesus; that fruit is love, and it is personal, and it is alive.

PRAYER: It's the fact that you walked right into the Garden of Gethsemane knowing, Lord; knowing exactly what would happen. I'm so glad that I do not need to be worthy of such love via my achievements. I can't imagine where I would be if you held law or worthiness over my head. Thanks. Amen

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