The Lenten reading today comes from Luke 3: 21-22. This is from the translation, The Message.
After all the people were baptized, Jesus was baptized. As he was praying, the sky opened up and the Holy Spirit, like a dove descending, came down on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.”
Marked by my love, pride of my life.
Wow. God’s overwhelming love for Jesus is so great that it is obvious to all who have eyes to see and ears to hear. That is the kind of love that fills your heart to overflowing. That is the kind of love that causes your throat to close on the joy when your pride overflows.
I know that kind of love. I feel it for my daughter, a woman whom I would be pleased to call friend, but instead I know the eternal joy of calling her daughter. She is loving. She is insightful. She is smart. She is a far better mother than I ever was. I learn so much from her.
I know that kind of love. I feel it for my grandsons. I know heart stopping pride at their accomplishments. Tears fill my eyes when I encounter new photos of them on the website. The anecdotes of their adventures and misadventures make me laugh with joy. (Sometimes those misadventures make me laugh in recollection and smirk at the thought of natural justice….but that’s another story.) There is nothing I wouldn’t do to keep them safe and happy.
And God has that kind of love in an even greater measure for Jesus.
Which makes the ministry to which God calls Jesus so remarkable.
Today those of us following the Lenten project were asked to reflect on how much God loved us that he was willing to send his own Son to teach us, to guide us…
But what fills my heart.… is how much God loves me that he sent His own Son, marked by His love and the pride of His life, to die in order to free me from my sins and bring me into the family of the children of God.
I know a fierce and tender love for my own off-spring. I would never put them in danger for someone who hated me. I’d never send them out to do something that would put them at risk in any way, and especially not if that risk was to their very lives.
But God’s love for me, for the whole world, was so great that he sent his Son, marked by his love and the pride of his life to die …for us.
In the revelation of such a great love all I have to give is humble and grateful devotion.