Tag Archives: Love

Tracing the Tears – Love #OurHolyWeek

This Holy Week, I’m going to be blogging each day, tracing the tears Jesus shed for Jerusalem to the tear filled eyes who first saw the Risen Christ. Throughout I’ll be following prompts from #OurHolyWeek


Love.

It can make us do strange things, can’t it? Things that to the outside world look strange, even laughable.

Many movies document people doing crazy things out of love; from Sam in Love, Actually leaping airport security to declare his love for Joanne before she leaves for America, to Rachel gate-crashing Ross’ wedding Friends (and Rachel getting off a flight that’s about to board whilst we’re on the Friends theme).

And even by these standards, the way Jesus’ is anointed with perfume on two different occasions in the gospels, might be considered a little extreme.

There are two different accounts of Jesus being anointed. Luke writes of a sinful woman who weeps at Jesus’ feet, washes them with her hair and then pours expensive perfume over him – whilst the other gospel writers mention a similar event when Mary of Bethany anoints Jesus during Holy Week, again pouring expensive perfume over Jesus, but this time Jesus marks it out as a preparation for his coming death.

When the women anointed Jesus they demonstrated wholehearted love and devotion.

For the unnamed sinful woman, her act of devotion prompts Jesus to forgive her sins- whereas in John 12 Mary is chastised by Judas for wasting the money for the perfume to anoint Jesus – but Jesus calls it “a beautiful thing.”

These extravagant acts of love were not only monetarily costly, they humbled themselves. These women gave up their dignity as well as their money to show their love of Jesus.

They did a beautiful thing.

And it leaves with me a question.

When did you last do a beautiful thing for the Lord out of your love for Him?

“There is a sacredness in tears….They are the messengers of …unspeakable love.”

Washington Irving

 

Advertisements

Fix Your Eyes

I was with some of my best friends this afternoon with their gorgeous baby son. And when his Mummy and Daddy are around, he really only has eyes for them. He’s only seven weeks old, but you can see him searching for them when they are both out of sight. He knows that everything he needs comes from them; food, warmth, nappy changes and love (although the family and friends also give lots of love and cuddles).

Now, apart from waxing lyrical about how cute he is (have I mentioned that, yet?!) I do have a point in writing this.

You see, it struck me that his eyes are fixed on the ones who love him and provide all he needs. 

As we get older, our horizons widen (and this is right and proper) but there is something about the singularity of a baby’s focus which made me wonder what my life would be like if I fixed my eyes on my Father in Heaven like a baby fixes their eyes on a parent.  

If I sought everything I need from my Maker, fixed my eyes on Him and Him alone, I think life would look a little different. It isn’t that I wouldn’t still love and need those around me – God made us for meaningful relationship with our fellow man – but our ultimate needs, our need for security and value come from the One who knows us best. As the writer of Hebrews says in 12:1b-2 “let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

I’m pretty sure that if we did this, it isn’t that everything else would become dim and dull, but that these things would come to life and be put in perspective. Safe in our identity and the knowledge that we are loved, we can dare to reach out. 

Reach out to those on the edge. 

Reach out to those in the dark. 

Because it seems to me that the more we fix our eyes on Jesus – the wider our horizons become.

 

Getting the Balance Right

So I’ve been reading Jeremiah recently, and as is often the case when reading the Bible, I came to a realisation. 

I either view God as a cuddly teddy bear, soft and loving – or I view an angry, jealous God who I have to impress, and whose standards are unattainable. 

I guess that to some extent both extremes are true. God is loving – He is Love. God is also just and perfect and to be revered. I’ve never quite got the revering bit right, I so often flail about between being scared of God, and forgetting His awesome power. 

If you know me, you’ll probably have realised that I quite like the middle ground! Why go extreme (except in my love for pretty things, matching and organisation) when you can pick the best of both sides and amalgamate them. It’s true for me in politics, theology, pretty much all the big stuff! I’ll search for a way to appease both sides and get the best of both worlds. 

Sometimes, this can be a good thing. Other times, like trying to write academic essay, it’s a bad thing. 

When it comes to my relationship with God, that tendency and love for balance goes out the window! Now I’m not saying that we shouldn’t get passionate about the God we serve, the God who created the world – anything but! 

But what I am saying is that I think I’m not alone in viewing the different parts of God’s character as completely isolated from one another when in truth, the reverence and awesomeness of God are as much of a part of the love of God as His healing and willingness to send His Son to die for us.

Reverence and love aren’t mutually exclusive. They go together like nutella and, well pretty much anything – they go together like strawberries and cream, books and coffee!

So I’m going to try and readdress my balance issues. I want to delve into the loving, pastoral heart of our God. But I also want to stand back in awe and acknowledge Him as Lord. I was to bow before Him, give Him all I’ve got – but I also want to run into His everlasting arms and accept the love God has for His children.