Jesus Loves Me (And You)
Often, when I visit the Hartford Retirement Home here in town to worship with them, we sing an old familiar hymn. It’s entitled Jesus Loves Me.
I am always amazed at the exuberance and passion that flows from the people there as they sing. Often I will just stop singing to listen to them.
Jesus Loves Me! Any of us can sing it and know that we are included.
But love, especially the love that God pours out on us, needs to be responded to and indeed we do respond. We either embrace that love or we reject that love.
One day someone asked Jesus, “What is the greatest commandment?” and Jesus responded, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind, and the second is like, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
God’s love to us is amazing and powerful. It binds up all our emotional, mental and spiritual wounds. When we feel weak and unlovable, God’s love reminds us that we are valuable, so valuable indeed, that He gave His life on Calvary’s cross to rescue us from sin and Satan’s control in our lives.
Love such as that changes us, or at least it should.
That brings us to what Jesus referred to as the second greatest commandment, “to love one’s neighbor as yourself”.
Now, we may try to find a loop hole in this, just as the person who was asking the question of Jesus.
His question was, “Who’s my neighbor?”
In response, Jesus told the story of a man who had become the victim of thieves. In the story Jesus told, He said a Priest and a , (in today’s lingo that would be a Pastor and a church leader), passed by the one who was hurt because they were too busy or too self important, but the most unlikely of people stopped to help the guy, and indeed, not only gave of his time but also of his resources.
You see, friends, the point is this, you really can’t say you love God and not love people, even people with all their quirks, even people who are not like us or who think like us.
God’s love in us should cause us to love as He loves. It is after all His love in us that makes it possible and He really does love every one.
So let’s sing, all together now,
Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
In His love we shall be strong.
Rev. Duncan Perry,