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Monday, April 15, 2013

Loved to the end

The Very Rev. Sylvia Sweeney
Maundy Thursday, 3/28/13

     Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.  To the end of time.  To the end of the rainbow.  To the ends of the earth.  To the end of the road.  It’s not really our way you know?  To love someone all the way to the end.  The world many of us grew up in and know all too well is a world where love is not a gift, but something you have to work for and earn…and some of us have never quite figured out how to earn that love from the people who seem to matter to us most. 
     But think about it.  That couldn’t have been what was going on that day in that oh so private moment between Jesus and his closest friends.  If Jesus’ love had been saved for those who had earned it, who deserved it…who would have deserved it that day?  Who would have been good enough or strong enough or smart enough or anything enough to have earned and deserved that amazing, astounding, extraordinary, wise, sweet, humble, poignant… love?
     Have you ever wondered why that night when Jesus poured out his love to his friends in the most vivid and intimate way he could find to share it…Why would he wash their feet?  Why wash Judas’ feet? Even that night I don’t think it mattered if Judas was able to accept and receive Jesus’ love and devotion…at that point it didn’t matter to Jesus what others did with his love so much as it mattered what he did with it.  It mattered that having loved his own who were in the world he would want to, need to, have to…love them to the end.  To the end of time.   To the end of the rainbow.  To the ends of the earth.  To the end of the road.
     If Christianity is about anything…if having our sins washed away is about anything…if having a savior is about anything…it is about stumbling during some desperate moment in our lives upon that one almost hidden unlocked door that leads from seeing ourselves as hideous and unloveable to knowing ourselves to be loved with a love that stretches and reaches and touches us in our most vulnerable and alone, unloved and forsaken selves.
     If this week is about anything, it is about remembering what it is like to find out for the very first time that as implausible, inconceivable, and impossible as it may seem to be to us…we are not alone in this life. We are far from alone.  We are loved! We are loved and always will be loved…loved with a love that can’t be earned, loved with a love that can’t be shaken, loved with a love that has no end.  Just like that band of disciples secreted away in that upstairs room, we are loved as his own, loved to the end.

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