Theme of the Week: Saying Yes to Jesus
Bible Verse: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” John 15:9-10
Scripture Reading: John 15:1-17
“No.” My four-year old daughter made her pronouncement clearly and concisely. After telling her it was time to clean up, Elly cocked her head and gave her answer with the practiced sass of a teenager: “No. I’m busy working.” Case closed. Conversation finished. Parent-maid dismissed. It seems my preschooler napped through the lesson on the child-parent hierarchy!
So did we. We are “Elly.” Church and Christian alike have role-played this conversation with Jesus. All blunt and sassy like my “four-nager,” we frequently say “no” to what He asks. Baby Christians and those grown up in Christ typically hang on Jesus’ every word. But it seems that so many of us experience arrested development. We’re stuck in toddler mentality. Entitlement replaces adoration. Life’s worries, the hunger for more, and the next hit of pleasure drown out His gentle voice. We tantrum and say ‘no’ to our Father when His way diverges from ours. Scariest of all is that often we don’t realize we’re doing this; hearts of flesh calcify slowly, imperceptibly. What if we said ‘yes’?
Pete Grieg imagines what might happen if every Christian on earth would say ‘yes’ to Jesus for one day; 2 billion people saying ‘yes’! Amazon’s sales would plummet as unnecessary items would be deleted from shopping carts. The greatest wealth re-distribution in history would occur as we invested in kingdom priorities: mission, marginalized and Church. Apologies would be made, families restored, tyrants confronted, worthy risks taken, the gospel shared, forgiveness granted, and service rendered. Imagine! All that and more catalyzed by children saying ‘yes’ to the Father who loves them.
Jesus said ‘yes’ first. He’s the perfect Son. We follow His lead. But before we repent and obey, we need to exclaim, admire and adore. To paraphrase Luther, “before we take Christ as our example, we must accept Him as our gift.” Jesus said “yes” to conception and carpentry, to caring for His widowed mother and public castigation. He was ridiculed, attacked, misunderstood, and maligned. He hungered and thirsted. He always said Yes to his Father, even when yes meant the cross.
Lent and Easter are a time to remember Jesus’ great ‘Yes’ and renew our own. Choose to say “Yes” today.
Prayer: Lord, help me to see the places I’ve gotten used to saying no to You. Sometimes I’ve stopped listening to You because I don’t want to obey, and other times Your voice has been lost to the cacophony of modern life. Help me to hear You. Inspire me anew with what happens when I say “yes.” Deepen my trust in You, Jesus. Amen.
Reflection: Think of a time you’ve said “yes” to God and “no” to God in the past week.
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