Summer is fast approaching, and with it comes the anticipation of planning a vacation. Sometimes, there is more fun in the planning than the actual event. In any case, the very thought of leaving the fast-paced life to spend some ‘down’ time is usually something to soothe those who are stressed by trying to ‘be’ all and ‘do’ all seven days a week.
Often, however, in our effort to slow down and relax, we plan so many activites that we are exhausted when we return from what we describe as a ‘vacation’. (Just ask someone who has returned from Disney.)
Jesus was not going on vacation. He was on His way to endure the greatest of sacrifices. But He had some last minute thoughts to finish in His talk with His Father about ‘where He was’ in His life and ministry right then.
John 17: 24-26- Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
To ‘be with Him where He is’. Obviously, that can not be. We are still stuck down here–running around like lemmings to work, buy, handle our responsibilities here on earth. Why would He even consider this as a possibility? We can’t ‘be with Him where He is’ while we are living here…or can we?
Jesus reminds His Father of their shared love. Before creation this love existed. After all that has happened since that time, our world and its people still don’t get the heart of the God Jesus knows.
God’s love is perfect.
His love is perfected to such a degree that He has refined it to where this love extends beyond self to inestimable holiness.
It is impossible to get your mind around this when you contemplate it. You hear of the horror of children being killed for no reason; of man’s inhumanity to his fellow men/women; of life being snuffed out with careless regard; of prejudice so deep that the skin color, language, culture, or appearance, can cause one to be targeted for death.
And we react.
“They should be shot.”
“They are little more than cowardly animals.”
We pass any thought of love on our way to anger…hatred…judgment.
There are many ‘religions’.
Here, however, is the example of the vital difference Jesus Christ makes from all others: THAT THE LOVE WHEREWITH THOU HAS LOVED ME MAY BE IN THEM, AND I IN THEM.
We forget and fail that love. Our highest aspiration. The focal point of our declaration as Christians. An almost insurmountable goal; one which we may mouth but caught up in the reality of life, forget.
Right here, in Christ’s prayer we are shown His absolute commitment to humanity through His acceptance of the death He is about to freely give for our sake..that we may come to know the unbounded perfection of God’s love.
I fall so short.
I utter words of anger calling for justice and death without thinking. I want earthly justice. I forget that the same measure I use will be used against me by God one day.
MY LOVE IN THEM, AND I IN THEM.
We would do well to think on the conclusion of Christ’s intercessory prayer each day. We will never fully process the true measure of God’s love here in earth because we are sinners, yet it is because we are sinners that He gave us His son Jesus that we might begin to understand the true power of that love….