There comes a time in almost every young adult’s life in which they begin to realize they may have been wrong. A time in which their understanding of how something they’ve believed since they were a teenager may have been a mistake. A realization which could lead to a variety of emotions: anger, shame, affection, sorrow, just to name a few.
It’s a realization which will profoundly change how they remember things, and also how they begin to look forward to the rest of their life.
Of course, I am talking about when young adults realize that maybe their parents might actually know something. That just maybe all the life instructions they been telling you for the past 10 years might not be a bunch of hot air, but may actually be useful advice.
This is a tough pill to swallow for young adults. After all, they’ve been fighting with their parents for years about what is right and what is wrong. There have been fights over who are the right friends to have, where good places to go are, and what is the best use of time. And darn it, yes, the parents were more right than we’d like to admit.
I’m sure many of you have had these same revelations about your own parents. Some of you have had some of these battles with your children.
It’s seems as though its a part of the cycle of life. As kids we seek to have control of our own lives, we think we know we’re doing what is best for us, and yet our parents try and take away our fun.
In the end, we come to see that these conflicts were because our parents might actually have some sort of wise advice to offer, and because they love us, they try to protect us.
Depending on how hard you’ve tried to ignore that advice, it can be a particularly hard pill to swallow at times.
It’s these stories of discovery of something we never quite realized that went far deeper than we expect I think of when I reflect on our song of choice for this morning.
“My song is love unknown,
my Saviours love to me,
love to the loveless shown
that they might lovely be.
O who am I that for my sake
my Lord shall take frail flesh and die?”
Another one of our favourite hymns as requested last month. I love this song. I love the tune. I love the lyrics. I love all of it.
This hymn sings of how we do not truly know the love of God shown to us in Jesus Christ. It asks the question, “What is so special about me that Jesus Christ should come to earth, taking on the frail human form, and die for me?” An excellent question we should be struggling with.
The hymn sings of his sacrifice, recounting the scorn and pain he would endure in his final hours. His rejection, which came just days after entering the city as a hero, as people cursed him and called for his life to end.
The love of God has been shown to us in Jesus Christ. We read of this love nearly every week in our time of worship. We read of God’s great gift to us.
But do we really get it? Do we really understand?
Today we read that most famous verse in the Bible from the Gospel of John. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son….” most people stop here, but it’s not the end of the verse. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son so that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.”
Whoever believes in him… may have eternal life. This is why God sent His Son to us. God sent His Son so we could realize this love, and to make it known we can all believe.
We need to continue reading in this passage, “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
God has sent us more than just a gift, God has sent us life. Jesus has not come to condemn us for what we do. He has not come to punish us for our sin. Jesus has come to save us from our sin. He has come to help us break the chains from the things which keep us from fully receiving the love of God for the world. To set us free to live our lives as God would have us live. That is, fully aware of this love, living joyfully, and sharing this love with others.
Jesus came to show us this. Jesus came to make us aware that this is even an option. Jesus reveals it to us. He makes it real. He makes it known.
Jesus exampled this kind of non-condemning love for us many times. Think about how many times he spoke with someone trapped in sin and instead of condemning the sinner he spoke the words we all love to hear, “Go and sin no more.”
During the season of Lent we are invited to explore the deeper meaning of the final days in the life of Jesus Christ leading up to Good Friday and Easter.
We’re invited to explore the meaning of his life and how he shows us how to live. We’re invited to reflect on the power of his death and what it means to us knowing he died for you and for me.
We’re invited to reflect on our own lives and see how it mirrors what we feel about this sacrifice. Do we really deserve the love we are being offered? Do we deserve eternal life? Do we deserve this gift from God?
Lent is a time to deepen our own understanding of how our lives reflect this gift we have been given. A time to study our actions and decide if things need to change. Is there something we can do to make our lives more Christ-like? Is there something we can change to make us a little more worthy of this love?
But the most important change we need to make is to realize the key action that needs to happen. It’s not something we have to give up or change. It’s what we need to add to our lives.
We need to add belief.
We need to believe in Jesus Christ, our Saviour, who died for our sake. We need to believe God loves us so much he would send Jesus to die for our sins. We need to know deep in our hearts that Jesus Christ is calling us to follow him.
This is what we need to know.
There’s nothing we can do to make God love us more. All we can do is act in a way that reflects this love. Love that gave its life for us. Love that looked at the world and said, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do,” and then died on the cross for us.
As we sing through the hymn, “My Song Is Love Unknown” the realization comes forward. We started wondering why there is this love. We wondered how it is God would come and sacrifice His Son for us.
As we sing through, we begin to acknowledge how much he went through. How people cried out for his death, a death he didn’t deserve.
In the end though, when it’s all finished, we stay and sing. We come to know that Jesus Christ is our Saviour, our King, and we proudly will sing his praise for all our days.
We come to realize we understand this unknown love more than we know.