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Tuesday-Do You Love Me?

 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters. Amen.

 

Galatians 6:18

 

The question, “Do you love me?” has got to be one of the most frequently asked questions ever asked in history. How many songs on the internet and radio ask this very same question? It’s written into thousands upon thousands of plays and musicals.

 

How many paintings and other works of art are asking this same question? How many notes and letters have been written, asking and answering the love question? And then there’s all the greeting cards, stickers, and bumper stickers that talk about love.

 

There are many famous people that have tried to answer this great question. Some have come close while most are not even in the same neighborhood as love.

 

But for my money, Sheldon Harnick came closer to really answering this question. Yep, Sheldon Harnick. Bet you haven’t heard of him. Have you? You might not know Sheldon, but many of you might know his words.

 

In Fiddler On the Roof, Tevye and his wife Golde sing Sheldon’s words, asking each other, “Do you love me?” It’s a most touching song that still makes my heart melt even though I’ve seen it hundreds of times.

 

When they start to sing this song, everything’s falling apart. They don’t have enough food or money. Their oldest daughter wants to marry someone they don’t think is good enough for her. There’s rising threats of violence against them and their way of life.

 

In the middle of all this chaos, Tevye and Golde ask the question to one another, “Do you love me?” Over and over they repeat, “Do you love me?”

 

They’ve been married for 25 years and their world is falling apart all around them. At the end of the song, they admit to one another that they really do love each other. The last line answers why they’ve been asking each whether they love each other. “It’s nice to know.[1]

 

And while the song is romantically sweet, it actually says something really important. It’s more than nice to know that we’re loved. It’s very important. Perhaps it’s the most important question in life. In the world.

 

At the end of Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he writes the one word that sums up God’s unending and unchanging love for us. And that word is grace.

 

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

 

Ephesians 2:4,5

 

God showed his love by coming down from his judgement throne and paying our penalty for us. It was all his idea. It was all his doing. God sent his perfect son, making Jesus who had no sin to be sin for us. Through Jesus’ sacrifice, we can receive God’s righteousness[2].

 

That’s what grace is. It starts with God’s leaning into us, stretching out his hands, reaching for us. But it’s more than that. He also pays the price, marking our sin debt with a great big heavenly stamp, “Paid In Full.”

 

And once we receive his grace, he makes us into new people. Gone are the failed attempts to pay for our own sin. Gone is our guilt and shame before our heavenly Father. Gone is the concern about our eternal destiny.

 

His gracious, loving gift is handed to us in and through the person of Jesus Christ. Fully God. Fully man. Of all the people who’ve ever walked the face of the earth, he is the only one who gave his life as a ransom for many[3].

 

Think about it for a minute.

 

  • Who else ever said that they alone were the way, the truth and the life. And that no one got to God except through them?[4]

  • Who else ever said that their body and blood was given for their followers[5]?

  • Who else ever said that they and the Father are one?[6]

 

Jesus claims to be the one and only Son of God. That he is the one and only answer for all our questions. All out needs. All our loneliness.

 

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

 

John 15:9

 

Jesus alone answers our deepest need and question, are we loved? Jesus alone answers the question once and for all. “God, do you love me?”

 

Now we know that he does love us. But, will we remain in his love? That’s our choice. What will you choose? Who will you choose?


[2] 2 Corinthians 5:21

[3] Mark 10:45

[4] John 14:6

[5] Luke 22:19,20

[6] John 10:30

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