Musings from the Manse – March

When we began Lent at our Ash Wednesday service we talked about this as a time to reflect on your own personal relationship with Jesus. We were encouraged to do things during Lent that affirm you rather than to give up something in these difficult times, to ‘Love yourself through Lent’ as the post above from FaceBook encourages.

I wonder if the journey towards Easter in Lent for all of us can and will cause us to stop and think again of how much God loves us;  ‘for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.’? (John 3.16)  Isn’t that amazing? Even in these times of lockdown and frustration and hurt and loneliness and illness and grieve… God loves you and me!!!
Jesus comes to us in his love, which is greater than any love we can experience from any human and the love Jesus talks about is ‘agape’, which is unconditional love, the highest form of love. Indeed, when he asks Peter in John 21.15-17 three times ‘do you love me’ he uses the term agape and of course Peter replies in the affirmative but he uses the Greek word Phileo meaning a brotherly/friendship love. The point in the different Greek words for “love” seems to be that Jesus was stretching Peter to move him from phileo love to agape love. And the same is true for us that Jesus wants us to move to agape love for God.
Jesus is also asking us the same question today to each one of us personally ‘Do you love me?’

How you will respond to him?
Then ask yourself in this time of reflection, how does my love for Jesus show itself;

in the way I worship,
in my personal prayer life,
in how I read my Bible,
in the way I love my family,
in the way I love my church family,
in the whole way I live my life?

When asking these questions let’s be self aware, self critical and self affirming in order that we are not just honest with Jesus but open to change. Maybe play this Laurie Klein song as you prayerfully reflect or sing it out aloud.
‘I love you, Lord And I lift my voice To worship You                                     Oh, my soul, rejoice!
Take joy my King In what You hear                                                                    Let it be a sweet, sweet sound In Your ear’

Your friend and servant

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