Monday, April 12, 2010

Love vs Action

It has come to my attention lately that I use the word "love" a lot. I freely express my love for my wife, my children, my family, our church, music, my dogs, ice cream, BBQ ribs, and even basketball. I think there is nothing wrong with verbally expressing my love for things. But it comes with a danger. My father would say, “Don’t tell me you love me, show me.” What would my relationships look like if I only said I loved things? How would my relationship with my wife if I just said I love you. What kind of adults would my children become if I only said I loved them? No actions, no hugs, no time to listen to their struggles, pain, confusion, and thoughts. Not attending their sporting events, school functions, and walking through each transition in their life with them. What kind of marriage one would have if you never celebrated your spouse’s accomplishments, spent time talking, dreaming, and planning for the future. I believe what my father was saying was that if we say we love someone or something we must be willing and ready to do whatever it takes to back it up.
Jesus asks the same question. In the gospel of John, we hear the words of the resurrected Christ ask Simon Peter do you love me. After seeing the risen Christ, after experiencing the realty of our risen Lord, Peter quickly returns to fishing. As soon as the Easter lilies were taken back up into the attic, Simon Peter has returned to the life he left to follow Jesus. He went backwards to the life he knew before he met Jesus. Instead of reading him the riot act, Jesus just ask Peter one question three times: Do you love me? When Peter replies a resounds Yes! Jesus responds that it is our actions that declare our love, not mere words. Jesus elegantly asks each of us, if you love me, your actions will illustrate to all that you are willing to do whatever it takes to back it up. If you recall I stated over two years ago the secret of getting people into the church. I said it is not a real big secret it is just hard to do. I said you love them, you love them into the church. Maybe the question in light of the risen Christ is not “Do you love me?” but “Who have you shown it to?”
Peace & Grace,

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