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This Sunday – May 20

As my across-the-street neighbors pulled into their driveway the other day they wanted to know what I was doing. Barefooted, I was methodically walking over a certain small patch of my yard.

While using my gas lawn edger the nut holding the blade on had come off and I was trying to find it. It had happened a few days earlier and I had already given up searching for it, assuming that I could easily replace it at a local hardware store.

Wrong.

Did you know that a nut has two different measurements, size and pitch? Size is obvious. Pitch has to do with how close and fine the threads are. And my missing nut had a special enough pitch, so as to be irreplaceable by anybody but the manufacturer. Hence, a renewed search.

Anna Maria, 8, was the first to run over to help. She couldn’t resist. She even went home and got some big magnets. Soon her brother, mother and father were searching.

Nothing.

Not even when Anna Maria said, “My body is very sensitive,” and started rolling in the grass.

Hmmm…

This is how we know what love is, that Jesus laid done his life for us.

-1 John 3:16

Okay, Anna Maria, rolling in the grass is nothing like Jesus dying on a cross. Except in attitude.

At the Gathering Church this Sunday I will teach from 1 John 3:11-24. The passage sets the standard for love, and I have to admit that the standard seems out of reach, even burdensome if it were in reach. “C’mon Jesus, do we have to love like that? Sacrificially?”

You know what I learned from Anna Maria?

Vision trumps sacrifice.

The hope of finding the nut made getting itchy okay.

What love achieves makes the sacrifice worth it. We’ll learn about that this Sunday.

And by the way, after more searching we gave up and I headed towards my front door. Then Anna Maria shouted, “I found it.”

She found it in the median strip by the mailbox. She had not stopped searching. Great excitement ensued as the prodigal nut had been found.

This Sunday: Love: The Way of Sacrifice