Friday, April 6, 2012

This changes everything


Several weeks ago I had the privilege of watching a skywriter in action. It was great fun to watch as the pilot dipped and swerved and spelled out a wonderful message: "Love God."



The message made me think of Deuteronomy 6, when the people of God are admonished: "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength." More than just good advice, this commandment makes up part of the Shema and is a central piece of Jewish teaching.

You may remember the story recorded in Matthew 22, when a Pharisee asked Jesus, "What is the greatest commandment in the Law?"

Jesus answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 22:37-40, NKJV).

That pilot picked a powerful couple of words to write in the sky.

But this Eastertide, as I consider the death of Jesus, I keep thinking of how different the skywriter's message would have been if he'd added a comma between the two words. I'm a grammar nerd, I know, but bear with me. Think about it. "Love God" is a good message--worthy of being written in the sky!--but "Love, God" is amazing.

It's no surprise that God would expect us to love him. He's God, after all; he deserves to be adored and worshipped. But that he would love us so much that he would give his son to die for us? That's astounding! Stupendous! Awe-inspiring!



John 3:16 is so familiar to us that it has become almost hackneyed. We look for in on signs in the stands at ballgames or emblazoned on billboards. Read it again today:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

That's the story of Good Friday: the love of God poured out for us. "This is how God showed his love among us: he sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (I John 4:9-10, NIV).

Write it in the sky! Proclaim it from the rooftops!

LOVE, GOD

**I'm joining Amanda at Serenity Now for Weekend Bloggy Reading and Vanessa and Heather At the Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday.


14 comments:

At The Picket Fence said...

Amen. Amen. Amen. A comma changed everything...DOES change everything! We are commanded to "Love the Lord Your God with all Your Heart"...how awe inspiring to know this same Love is returned to US by our Creator! That HE loves us with all of His Heart! It makes me think of the song, "Oh How He Loves Us..Oh How He Loves" It's hard to even begin to fathom how deep His love is for us! Thank you for this beautiful Good Friday message Richella! You are a joy to know!

Heather

Lori said...

May we ALL experience the comma of God! ;) Beautiful!

NanaDiana said...

Beautiful post- BEAUTIFUL! Wouldn't you LOVE to know who that person is that sky wrote that and why he did it? What a wonderful Good Friday message, Richella! xo Diana

FrouFrouBritches said...

Amen! What a powerful message. Have a wonderful Easter, Richella!

Mandy said...

Well said, Richella!! Happy Easter to you and your family. Love you all!

Shelly W. said...

Yes, YES!

Look at the sky. Love, God.

Look at the world I created. Love, God.

Look at your children. Love, God.

Look at the cross. Love, God.

xoxo

Donna said...

Wow! I had never really thought about how simply adding a comma...changes everything!
Thank you for this wonderful post!
Have a blessed Easter
Donna

Designs By Pinky said...

What an awesome post. And I sure wish I knew who the pilot was. he must have touched MANY lives with 2 little words. XO, Pinky

Misti@Living On Cypress Hill said...

I love your different way of looking at it! It totally changes our perspective! This is awesome!

Susan@avintagefarmwife said...

Thank you so much for this post! I "love" it!

Lori Anderson said...

So beautiful!

Dear Lillie said...

Happy Easter!

Pat@Life At Lydias House said...

I, too, saw these words last week while at Disney World. Another day, he wrote "Love Jesus". I was waiting on a bench outside the aquarium when the "Love Jesus" was being written. I think I was the only native English speaker in the area! I was amazed that EVERY person who came out of the aquartium immediately looked up at the sky and read in English "Love Jesus". Even 2 couples who were standing at the other end of the bench speaking Chinese said the word Jesus in English. It made me think of the verse "Every knee shall bow and EVERY tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord"!

Heather said...

Our son recently memorized John 3:16 and it has been so nice hearing him practice and learn the meaning of the words.

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