Saturday, May 12, 2012

Love is our mandate

FIRSTS:  David Henry taking his first swing
It’s Saturday, I just returned from another doctor visit (my flu has evolved into bronchitis and the beginnings of pneumonia), and  I may or may not do any work today. But I will post a short blog.
I think I can get away with a new David Henry image; after all, I haven’t included one since last weekend.
FIRSTS: At almost seven months, our grandson is hitting a lot of “firsts” in his happy infant life. This picture is from his first ride in a swing. Apparently he looked momentarily startled, then smiled broadly and genuinely enjoyed the experience.
Later it was his first time soloing on “Mr Truck.” I asked how many nano-seconds it was before David fell off, but apparently his daddy was hovering just off camera and there was wobbling but no wreck.
David’s big ride
EVERYTHING with David for the next decade or so is going to be play, learn, enthusiasm, experiment, crash, cry, learn, try, “I can do it myself!” enthusiasm, learn, challenge, cry, learn, fall off, cry, enthusiasm, learn, dust off, learn….
And we’re going to watch, sometime from a distance, sometimes right there, and we’re going to encourage him, and his parents are going to smile, and wring their hands, and pray hard, and eventually stand back in wonder when they see him eventually take flight.
LOVE: Maybe the best thing about watching David is watching him through his parents’ eyes. Naomi is pouring such a torrent of love and imagination and joy and passion into her role as “mommy” that we can’t help but smile. Some young parents are in love with the “idea” of being parents. Naomi is in love with the experience. Craig is a wonderful daddy.
And look at him; David knows his parents love him. He is moving forward in his life from the strong position of the knowledge of love.
All you need is love…
LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED: I think about the people I know who struggle with life, and of how much good it would do them to simply understand the fact that they are loved.
Sure, God loves us. The Bible is clear on that point. The witness of Jesus drives the fact home. We can always count on a warm welcome by God.
But God also chooses to love his people through one another. Not just tolerate – there’s no new commandment to “tolerate one another” in the New Testament. But love is a mandate. Love is THE mandate. It is the most compelling evidence – according to Jesus – that we really are his followers.
So how are we doing? Where could we do better? Does the world get to witness the truth of the Gospel of Love when it sees the followers of Jesus in action?
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

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