More Like Love
In the program for today's service, my talk is called a "meditation," which, for our younger students, is really just a fancy word for "something to think about." So, let's all start this meditation thinking about one of my favorite songs from musician Ben Rector. It's called "More Like Love"...
Now, listen to this Scripture passage from John’s Gospel:
Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet
13 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 12 When Jesus had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
What does love look like and, more importantly, how can WE look more like love? Have you ever thought about that? Have you ever asked yourself those questions? If, like the song says, we want to look more like love, we should have an image of love in our minds that we can emulate in our lives, right? Too often, I think we want love to be BIG and momentous, like Easter and the resurrection. Most of the time, though, love really appears in small acts at seemingly insignificant times…like washing feet and Holy Thursday.
Jesus gives us a pretty challenging answer to this question about what it means to look like love, doesn’t He? He says it looks like washing your friends’ feet…at the end of the day…when they are the dirtiest and grimiest and smelliest…when you probably least want to wash them. That, Jesus says, is what it means to look like love.
But, as you might expect, Jesus doesn’t stop there. Our Essential Question this year is “How Will I Lead” . . . What Jesus goes onto say is that when we look like love we’ll be answering this question, too. When we look more like love, we’ll be leading. Jesus is telling us (as responses to the song’s lyrics) …
It’s not about “having all the answers” or “knowing I’m right” all the time…It’s about LOVE.
It’s not about “climbing higher than anyone can climb” or being the best…It’s about LOVE.
It’s not about “getting what I want” because that will never be enough…It’s about LOVE.
This next observation is oversimplification, for sure, but aren’t most things on Pinterest oversimplified? In any event, I saw this posted on Pinterest the other day, and it resonated with me as I was thinking about this talk and as I was thinking about love: “The Buddah wasn’t a Buddhist. Jesus wasn’t a Christian. Muhammad wasn’t a Muslim. They were all teachers who taught love. Love was their religion.” And guess what…the Buddah, Jesus, and Muhammad also taught (again, in response to the song) that love is “the one thing around here we don’t have quite enough of.”
So, how can you look more like love? How can we all look more like love? Whether you are the smallest Kindergartener here, you can look more like love, can’t you? Whether you are the oldest eighth grader in here, you can look more like love, can’t you? You better believe that as the Headmaster of this school, standing way up on high in this pulpit, I can certainly look more like love…and my Easter prayer for all of us, myself included, is that we will begin very seriously and very earnestly to look more like love…and not in BIG, momentous ways, but mostly in small and seemingly insignificant ones.
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