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Every year on Valentine’s Day I get my wife a card and a bouquet of her favorite flowers. Then we head out to a special restaurant for a great lunch. We don’t do these things just because it’s expected or because we’re going through the motions. Instead, we make the extra effort because it’s a great opportunity to make our love tangible to each other.
One of the ways Jesus did just that can be found in John Chapter 21, where, after the Resurrection, the Disciples were out fishing on the Sea of Galilee. They had been working all night. And they hadn’t had much luck. Tired and hungry, they were about to give up. But Jesus did two things. He directed them to a huge shoal of fish. And then, he called out to them from the beach – “Come and have breakfast” (John 21:12).
As they gathered around the fire and began to eat, Jesus asked Peter three times: “Do you love me?” And three times in a row, Peter replied: “Yes Lord.” Jesus then gave him a mission, “Feed my lambs – take care of my sheep – feed my sheep.” What I really enjoy about this scene is the way Christ makes love tangible to his disciples. He extends to them his and his Father’s love by seeking them out and calling them to himself. He blesses their work, telling them where to catch the most fish. And finally, he even makes them breakfast!
But, further, with his repeated questions and his accompanying missional “assignments,” Christ gives Peter a way to transform his love from something he “says” into something he “does.” He is given a way to express to others the love he has received from Jesus.
This year I want to remind us of the way Christ received love from his Heavenly Father, and lived out his perfect love for us – by showing us the Father and sending the Spirit – through patient, humble service to others. I want to wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day and pray that the Lord continues to bless all your relationships.
I’m Joseph Tkach, Speaking of LIFE.