Happy February! February is a season of love. In two weeks, we will celebrate Valentines Day as we exchange chocolates, flowers, and cards as an expression of love for others. This is the month of pink hearts and red flowers — it is a month of love.
In high school, I had a girlfriend who used to ask me, “Do you love me?” Of course, I always told her I did and then she would say, “Prove it!” I would then do something to demonstrate how I felt for this girl — an act of expression to show my love for her. It may have been something serious — such as buying her a meal or offering to wash her car — or it could have been something silly. But it was always an expression that put my words into action.
In John’s gospel, Jesus appears to the disciples after his resurrection and he asks Peter, “Do you love me?” (John 21:15). Peter had just denied Christ three times before the crucifixion a few days earlier, and he must have been feeling a little humiliated. This was the same disciple who argued that he was greater than the others. So I imagine that as Jesus asks this question, he probably did not even have the chance to complete the question before Peter said, “Yes, Lord! You know that I love you.” And then Jesus says to Peter, “Feed my sheep.” Jesus’ response to Peter is sometimes referred to as The Great Charge. It’s as if Jesus is saying to Peter, “Prove it!” And Jesus does not ask Peter this question only one time; he asks the question three times (you will notice the symmetry of Peter’s earlier denial with Jesus’ question and charge), and each time Jesus says to Peter, “Feed my sheep!”
Jesus is the Good Shepherd and he refers to his followers as his sheep. Jesus loved his sheep and he was protective of his sheep. So when Jesus charges Peter to “Feed my sheep,” he wants to ensure that his sheep are always loved. And his charge is not limited to Peter. Jesus charges all of us to care for the flock and feed the sheep. Peter was the father, the “rock,” of the Christian church and this charge extends to you and me. How are we caring for the flock and feeding the sheep? How are we showing love for Jesus?
This Sunday in worship, we will continue our Covenant message series as we study God’s covenant with Abraham — the father of many nations. The covenant with Abraham reminds us of God’s love for all people and it should inspire us to do something to show our love for God. Do you love Jesus? Then let’s feed his sheep!
Have a great weekend and I look forward to being with you in worship on Sunday at 8:45 and 11:00!
With the Love of the Lord,
P.S. One of the best ways we can feed God’s sheep is through local missions and service to others. Our church is involved in many different ways of helping our community, and I would love to invite you to join us in mission to others. If you want to know more about where you can get started serving, let me know by replying to this e-mail.