Reading time: two minutes.
We could make this really complex and very complicated, but we don’t need to. I could write volumes and volumes on what it means to live in the joy of the gospel, but I’d rather offer a simple handle for you.
I’d truly like to spend five days (another five days for our alumni!) on a retreat to seriously and intentionally reflect on what the grace of Jesus means to me right in this moment, but that’s not likely to happen.
So let me give it to you in a short, simple catch phrase that you can use any time and every day of you life to remember the abiding, strengthening, uplifting grace of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Four words. I like them even better than my favorite three: “Jesus loves me.”What if we all starting reminding ourselves that, “Jesus is loving me” instead?
“Jesus loves me,” for sure. This I know, for the Bible tells me so. My problem is that when I get stressed, filled with the anxieties of a too full calendar or the sinful, human side of life in the kingdom of God, “Jesus loves me” can sometimes sound, (how can I say it) academic.
I know it. I believe it. It’s true without doubt. But sometimes in the moments when I need assurance the most, it can sound distant, historical, like a theological fact filed away in a dogmatics text.
What I like about “Jesus is loving me” is that it brings the reality of God’s enduring and undeserved kindness right into this moment, right into the ache in my stomach, the tension in my neck, right into that space of electricity between you and me when we aren’t behaving our best toward each other.
“Jesus is loving me” just sounds alive and present and real, and sometimes I need that.
I think Luther was concerned that we’d lose touch with our baptismal theology of grace by relegating it to the dusty bins of the recesses of our minds and hearts. When he talked about daily renewal, I think he was encouraging a moment by moment remembrance of God’s promise that because of the seal and guarantee of the Spirit, I am always, no matter my situation, in restored fellowship with my Father.
“Jesus is loving me” implies that in my most troubled moments, or in my most joyful moments, or in my just ordinary moments, what Jesus does best from His throne of grace above is pour His good gifts into me. Those gifts of love, joy, peace are flowing in a steady stream to me by the Spirit’s gift of faith.
That’s a living water I can use. I know you do too. As I’m writing, and as you are reading, do you know what Jesus is doing?
He’s loving you. Enjoy it.
Thanks for reading.
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