John 15: 9-17
Jesus said to his disciples “I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make ourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done – kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.
“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.
“You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.
“But remember the root command: Love one another.”
How hard it can be to feel that God loves us as He loves his Son. Feeling unworthy, thinking ‘if you really knew me’, puts an unnecessary distance between us. It’s a gift we rarely give ourselves. A gift we can only receive through Jesus. You have to meet him as the disciples, the women and all the saints that have gone before have met him – intimately, deeply, lovingly.
In a world of communication overload you would think it would be easy getting to know people but often it seems more like attention seeking; counting ‘friend’s that we have never met, ‘followers’ who have never stepped in our footprints. As human beings we are always looking for relationship; but relationships must have layers of encounter; giving and a response; they need to be ‘alive’.
If we believe Jesus is real but not tangible – then we need to develop the relationship some more through prayer and contemplation. Taking time is key; taking time to get to know each other; learning to be friends; learning to love; remembering that he has chosen you.