Hopefully your Thanksgiving went well. We had a good time catching up with my family, who some I haven’t seen in a year. It was very good!
One of things we asked ourselves from the message last weekend was with the majority of people being with family and friends this Thanksgiving, how do you handle different and dysfunctional family and friends?
Then we read through Jesus’ holiday dinner with His friends, who all were different and dysfunctional in their own way. We took at look into four of them: Peter, Matthew, Simon, and Judas Iscariot as we read John 13:1-5. All of us could relate to either one or a combination of the four. We find that the word “love” is the same word used in John 3:16. It’s agapaō, which many refer to as agapē. It’s described as an act of commitment that can’t be earned or deserved. This love invited the twelve disciples to the table and it invites us to the table.
So the best answer to the question is that we follow Jesus’ example by loving the family and friends in our lives. All of us can show love to the family and friends in our lives in one of four ways: invite, serve, apologize, or forgive.
The step that has been hard for me is to forgive. I’ve been challenged by C.S. Lewis’ commentary on forgiveness:
This is hard. It is perhaps not so hard to forgive a single great injury. But to forgive the incessant provocations of daily life—to keep on forgiving the bossy mother-in-law, the bullying husband, the nagging wife, the selfish daughter, the deceitful son—how can we do it? Only, I think, by remembering where we stand, by meaning our words when we say in our prayers each night ‘forgive our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.’ We are offered forgiveness on no other terms. To refuse it is to refuse God’s mercy for ourselves. There is no hint of exceptions and God means what He says.
Thankful Jesus not just shows me but helps me love like He does.