Knowing the Love of Christ

March has arrived. During a short 20-minute drive home yesterday, I drove alternately through spring and winter, under blue sky and sunshine and then through whirling showers of big, wet snowflakes.  

The state highway that approaches our village from the east snakes around curves, climbs hills, and descends into valleys. Still several miles away from home, if I look at just the right time, I catch glimpses of our little town crowning a long ridge. At night, the town’s lights always remind me of a city set on a hill that cannot be hid …

But driving home yesterday afternoon while I was basking in momentary sunshine, that glimpse of our town and hill was shrouded in a snow shower. I could barely make out the smudged lines of buildings on the hilltop; the school, the water tower, and a string of houses were all just pale shadows miles away.

That’s a picture of our journey home. Sometimes we get a clear and sharp glimpse of the home where all our pilgrimages will end. At other times we cannot see so clearly, yet beacons shine along the way and we are certain of the direction we want to travel …

This is also true of our growth into the life that Jesus died to give us. We read Scriptures on the incomparable power available to us; we hear the Spirit whisper that we have so much more yet to understand and discover; we read the most astonishing words that we are being changed into the image of God Himself. I don’t know about you, but often I feel as though I only see those things faintly in the distance.

One of those Scriptures hit me forcefully last week, and now that it’s taken hold of my mind and heart, I want more, clearer glimpses of what it might mean for my journey. Listen to these words from Ephesians: 

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Two things to ponder: What does it mean to experience the love of Christ?

Now I know that’s a phrase that we toss around a lot in our churches and Bible studies … but tell me, what does that mean for you, in the moments of this day? 

I have a feeling that experiencing the love of Christ is like catching glimpses of a city on the hill or seeing it vaguely through a snowstorm. It is too great to understand fully. Yet, somehow, we can experience this love; and the glimpses we’re given captivate us.

I want more glimpses. Because — look at that second statement. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Wow. Savor that promise! To be made complete. With all the fullness of life and power that God gives His children. Wow.

I have no idea how that all works. Experiencing Christ’s love makes us complete? Fills us with life and power given by God? How do we explain that?

I don’t think we can explain it. I think we can only “know” it by experiencing it. And I do know that I want more of this experiencing the love of Christ.

So we’ll try something new, from now until Easter. Each day, we’ll have one short meditation from Scripture on the love of Christ. I have no idea if I can pull that off or not, but I do know that I want to see this more clearly, know and experience His love even though it’s too great for me to understand.

Focusing on the love that gave us a new life will be fitting preparation for Easter. Easter is all about Christ’s love.

I promise to keep the meditations short. (I know, I know … that’s a tough assignment … but just watch me!) On some days, it might only be one or two verses, words from God to contemplate that day. I have no idea how it will all work out, but for the next 35 days, I want to focus on His love for me.

May the Spirit teach all of us, and …

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

*

Scripture: Ephesians 3:19 (NLT)

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