What is the greatest gift you’ve ever received?
I’m honestly not sure how I would answer that question. One of the most valuable and memorable gifts would be my piano. The word great is used a lot, but what does it mean? The dictionary definition was ‘considerably above average’ which I was a little disappointed by at first, as I didn’t feel it was sufficient, but then the more I thought about it, I guess it makes sense.
Over this term we are looking at what love means, and this week we are looking at the greatest love. We have considered all of the different types of love, the different ways we show love, but what is the greatest love? In the Gospel of John we are told
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
To sacrifice your life, to give up something special to you, for the benefit of others, that is the greatest love. God showed this love through the crucifixion of Jesus. Lisa Osteen-Comes tells us
“As we remember the great sacrifice that Christ made for us, let us be reminded of the love that God has for us”
That act of crucifixion wasn’t just Jesus giving up his life for his friends, but for ALL people. Christians believe that at creation God chose to create the world, and chose to create people. People were in relationship with him, but then they went against him and were separated. Through God choosing to become human in the man of Jesus, and choosing to give his life, it means that all humans have the possibility of new life in relationship with God.
Why did God make these choices? Because He is love. God is the greatest love, and that has been reflected in His relationship with humanity – even though humans keep making mistakes. He keeps giving us opportunities to build relationship, which was demonstrated in that ultimate act of Crucifixon.
The cross the Romans was a weapon of torture. For Christians it is a symbol of Love.
In answer to my question at the beginning
The greatest gift I’ve received is the cross.
Challenge: should people tell others about the greatest love of God or let them find out for themselves?
Prayer: thank you God that you chose to create us, that you chose to love us, and that you chose to keep giving us chances. Help us to know your love in our lives, and to share that love with others. amen