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Immerse: Messiah - Week 15

More than Words

“Please,” “Thank you,” “I’m sorry,” and “I love you;” all are words we often use as part of our daily routine. You could probably add some of your own common phrases to this list. They are as ingrained in you as breathing, and while they do have meaning, more often than not that meaning gets diminished over time. They are said in passing to strangers and during some of the most important moments we share with loved ones. One of these phrases is directly tied to what Jesus stated was the greatest commandment: “I love you.” During this week’s Immerse: Messiah readings, love is mentioned in some way on almost every page. These scriptures are flooded with the lesson that being a Christian first and foremost means loving just as Christ loved. We are called not to seek the world’s guidance on how to fulfill this commandment, but to emulate the perfect embodiment of love, Jesus Christ.

If we are to love like Jesus, then we need to understand a few key things.

  • Love is a gift. In some ways it’s a lot like a Secret Santa gift. This means anyone can get it (even if they’re the cranky coworker no one gets along with). Jesus showed us this by washing the disciples’ feet. The Bible tells us He washed ALL of their feet, even Judas. Even knowing He would be betrayed, He still gave all of them the same level of care and attention.
  • Love requires a sacrifice. Whether it’s time, money, reputation, etc., Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice when He died on the cross for us. We read about the physical pain His body endured, but the emotional pain would have been equally as torturous. The very people that He loved, healed and witnessed to turned against Him. There are countless times in my life when I’ve given up on something I decided was just too difficult. Jesus could have changed His fate and given up on us, but He didn’t.
  • Love requires “doing.” It is more than just words. It’s spelled out on page 444, “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” If we are to love those in our community, then we have to show them. That means reaching out to identify a need and then meeting it. Words without action have no meaning, and God has an account of everything we do.

As you begin this week, my prayer is for you to seek out ways you can mindfully show love to the people you encounter every day and to be the heart of Jesus in all that you do.

- Serena Maerkl