Jesus Loves You

Jesus Loves You

Today I went into our local Christian book store and made a discovery. This is in no way a reflection upon that particular store, but something that I noticed in general. It was one those simple ideas, and as we often find, the simple ideas are the ones that often have power, so I thought I would share it with you.

As I was looking around (and I found some rather nice things and resources which I picked up) I was looking at all of the t-shirts and bumper stickers and other things they had which identifies the wearer (or car driver) as a Christian. What I noticed was that all the shirts said things like “I’m a Christian”, or “I have been redeemed by the blood of the lamb,” or “Jesus is my Homeboy.” These are just the general, generic and popular Christian t-shirts that you see everywhere.

With the bumper stickers again they had things on them like, “I love Jesus,” and my favorite, “TRY JESUS – if you don’t like him the Devil will always take you back”. You get the idea.

What I realized looking at these were that in the t-shirts, the bumper stickers, the window decals, and all the things that you could buy there – they all talked about what Jesus had done for me. No problem, Jesus has done everything for me, died on the cross for me, saves me from eternal death – we should proclaim these things to the world.

BUT – you know what I didn’t see? I didn’t see anything no t-shirts, bumper stickers, or window decals that said “JESUS LOVES YOU”. It is important for me to claim what Christ has done for me. That is my salvation. But you know what. I don’t think too many people (other than myself and maybe my dear sweet Mother and some of my dearly departed pastors) care too much about my salvation. That Jesus has saved me is great for me – but is it really good news for other people?

The good news, and what we are called to proclaim to the world is that JESUS CHRIST LOVES THEM. THAT GOD ALMIGHTY LOVES THEM.

It is good that Jesus loves me as an individual. But witness and mission is only good if I am saying to people that Jesus has done this for me AND THEREFORE HE CAN DO IT FOR YOU.

Do you get what I am trying to say? I think that all too many times when we buy “Christian” stuff it is celebrating that we are Christians. That we are in the club. That we are part of the redeemed. But that doesn’t say a whole lot to the rest of the world that is suffering and lost in darkness and is in desperate, desperate need of Jesus Christ.

Think about it. If you were outside the church and you saw a bunch of people wearing shirts that told you that they were Christians what does that do? Does that make you want to say “Hey I want to be one of those?” Probably not! It most likely would make you think there is a group over there, and I am not a part of it.

But what if you saw a group of people wearing shirts that simply said “JESUS LOVES YOU”. Well that is a different thing all together. Because the message of that shirt or bumper sticker is no longer about the person wearing it. But it is a message to the world that there is someone who cares about them. It says that there is a Jesus, and he loves you. Who is you? You who are reading this.

The point: is that if we could have messages that proclaim the good news that there is a great God in heaven who became incarnate in Jesus Christ, and he controls all that is – and he will be victorious and bring about his kingdom where sin and evil and death will end AND that same Jesus knows you and loves you and wants you (whoever you are and whatever you have done and no matter how bad you think you are) in his life. If we can tell people that, then we are starting to change the world.

So when I checked out at the local Christian book store, I asked the lady at the register if they had anything that said “Jesus Loves You”.

She said “No, but what a good idea!”

Who knows, maybe we have started a revolution. So friends in this life, maybe we can remember that what we are called to do is to share the love of Jesus. Yes it is important that you are a Christian. But it is as, and maybe more important, to let other know that Jesus Christ who loves you – loves them. Just some thoughts for today.

May God bless you and keep you. Now I have to write our Lenten Midweek Homily
In Christ
Pr. Mike

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