Henri Nouwen describes that our whole life can me imagined like a horizontal line that goes infinitely in both directions. And if we imagine that line going eternally into the past and eternally into the future, then that entire line is covered in God’s “I love you” to us.
These verses are a reminder that God’s love for us is great. By grace, it is promised. We might struggle to hear this message, but kids don’t have as much trouble with this, do they? I wonder if it’s because we are so faithful to tell them all the time. “I love you.” “God loves you.” “You are special.” “You are precious.” “Jesus loves you.”
One week ago, this morning, we all woke to the news that nine precious people had their lives taken from them ‑ from their families and communities. As details of this horrifying act of hatred were revealed to the public, I felt myself becoming more overwhelmed by the heartbreak. You may have felt it too. Helpless. Wounded. Vulnerable.
We have spent the season of Lent with the Prayer of Saint Francis that invited us to be “Open to Peace.” In this moment, the Sunday after Easter, we find that Jesus breathes a word of peace onto his disciples. This Sunday, we will begin to exhale the same hatred, injury, doubt, despair, darkness, and sadness that was holding those disciples captive.