As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. John 15:9-11
These words from Jesus bring a deeper meaning this week during Holy Week as we prepare our hearts for the events leading up to Easter Sunday and the resurrection. God provides us with commandments to help us abide in God's love. It's better for us to love our enemies than to hate them. It's better to tell the truth than to lie. It's better to take a day of rest each week than to work without stopping. God knows that when we live by these commandments, we are not only living in the way that is safer and more productive for us, we are living in a way that allows us to experience God's love more deeply.
By living the way that God has told us to live, we are more open to God's light and love - and that is where true and deep joy comes from.
God's love for us is never more evident than in the crucifixion and resurrection. Take some time today to reflect on your perspective and behavior. Do you take time to rest or work without stopping? How do you respond to God's great love for us in your day to day choices?
Prayer for Today
God, you have called us to live in ways that at times seem difficult and even impossible to do. Remind me each day that as I live in the way you have instructed, I am moving closer and closer to you. Make my joy complete, O God. Amen.