By Maddie Pannell
As I’m writing this, we are midway through Holy Week. I know by the time you read this, Easter will have come and gone, but just for a moment take yourself back to where you were during the week leading up to Good Friday. What filled your days? If your week was anything like mine, you went to work or school, cooked dinner, called friends on the phone, or responded to emails—all very ordinary activities that happen every week.
Besides that, though, I spent some time each morning reading Scripture from a Lent devotional. Every day I picked up God’s Word, I was reminded over and over that Jesus and his disciples had a very different experience of the days before Good Friday. There’s a reason this week is called “Holy." As I read, I imagined the intensity of those moments between the embodied Lord and his devoted friends.
In those critical days before his crucifixion, what did Jesus teach— how resurrection works? The mysteries of double imputation? Or maybe how the disciples should deal with the Pharisees and Romans during his trial and suffering?
Instead, Jesus didn’t focus on any of that. What did he focus on, then?
Jesus spent those days talking about love. He talked about how he loved the disciples, and how they should love others: “Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another” (John 13:34). He talked about the love of the Father: “...the one who loves me will be loved by my Father” (John 14:21). He talked about living in love: “If you keep my commands you will remain in my love…” (John 15:10).
Jesus found it most important to tell his disciples how to love, and I think I should be paying attention, too. His words in John 15:4 resonated in my heart deeply: “Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me.” I might go about all of these tasks—email, work, phone calls—feeling pretty competent, but it is in Jesus’s great love that true life happens. I might still be doing these same tasks day in and out, but true hope ignites us when we love as our Lord does.
This Easter, go in love.
Pictures From The Week
The Season 16 guys enjoyed a spring baseball game together at Nats park.
We celebrated Joel and George's birthday during the Final Four basketball games— thanks to the Isler's for a great couch and fun times.
Celebrating George's birthday, Fellows style.
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