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‘Jesus loves you passionately’

Posted on: April 23, 2008

The title says it all…or rather quotes the poster currently in our display board which sits outside of church, as I walk home from the station I tend to glance to see what posters we have (I keep meaning to add some that actually advertise church events!) and one of the posters currently reads in big, bold letters

‘JESUS Loves You Passionately’.

Now don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t agree with the poster more, His death on the cross echoes his passionate love for us amazingly and in my reading of ‘God on Mute’ by Pete Greig (which I’m rapidly getting through and will with no doubt share more thoughts on it once complete) the emphasis on Jesus’ ‘take this cup of suffering away from me, yet not my will but yours be done’ prayer is a core part of the book, reminding us that Jesus submitted to God’s will. The passionate love Jesus had in that situation meant obedience to God, it meant submitting to what was about to happen to Him because he knew it was for the greater good and was God’s will.

However what does ‘Jesus loves you passionately’ actually mean for the people passing our church?

What does it mean for the alcoholic who sits on our doorstep?

What does it mean for the prostitutes?

What does it mean for the daughter mourning the loss of her father?

What does it mean for the young person running away from home?

What does it mean for the broken hearted?

My point is that love itself is unconditional (or should be), God’s love for us doesn’t get more or less depending what we do, it is impossible for God to love us more, however I suspect that the people listed above would merely answer the poster with ‘so what?’ or ‘he’s got a funny way of showing it’. Perhaps this is where we need to be not just stating that Jesus loves you passionately but be passionately showing that love.

We need to be getting alongside the alcoholic, talking to him, helping him, praying for him.

We need to be finding ways to help the prostitute

We need to be crying alongside the daughter…and so on…

I am reminded of a greeting card I got sent a few years ago, on it was a man, desperately clinging to his car in a flood, he resorts to praying and asks God for help. Soon after a man in a boat passes and offers him help but the man replies ‘No, the Lord will save me’, soon after the same happens again, once again the man replies ‘no the Lord will save me’, eventually a helicopter passes over and asks the man if he needs help, the man replies again ‘No, the Lord will save me’…the man drowns.

In heaven  the man asks God why he didn’t save him, God replies ‘well I tried, I sent you 2 boats and a helicopter’.

The point of my rather silly story is that 9 times out of 10 we see God in people’s actions and the poster ‘Jesus loves you passionately’ is absolutely true however I wonder if people can see that, because if they cannot see that love then surely it’s no good to them? As a church we need to show that love, we need to show the world, through our actions that Jesus loves them passionately!

Anyway thoughts over, I’m off to house group soon.