- Rev. Michelle Vernone
I’ve been thinking about all the ways Jesus loves us... how Jesus loves me. In my head, I know there are countless examples. But, sometimes, like during a global pandemic, vicious political polarization, crazy natural “disasters” like hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and everything else 2020 has thrown at us, sometimes knowing that Jesus loves us and feeling that Jesus loves us are two completely different things. I want to feel it but sometimes, I don’t. Sometimes the world is so upside down, and we’re so tired, that we just don’t feel anything. I wonder, when we get into those dry seasons, when we don’t feel Jesus’ love, are we still showing Jesus’ love well?
I’m grateful that this verse says that to be known as Jesus’ disciple, our job is to love. Not be perfect, not be without sin, just love others. Oh, wait. We’re supposed to love others as Jesus loves us. Ah...but Jesus didn’t expect perfection from his disciples... he wanted them to be “perfect” – to pursue the image of God and be transformed into the likeness of Jesus by the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect.”
I’ve fought against this verse often, but I’ve come to put it in it’s proper context. This verse comes after Jesus tells his disciples to love their enemies and to pray for those who persecute you. The instruction isn’t about not making mistakes, or being the perfect size 4, or being
the “best” at anything. The instruction to be perfect is about choosing love and to “do” that love the way Jesus does. Forgiveness, gentleness, kindness, patience, honoring the Sabbath, giving generously...being mindful and grateful for all the ways you know God demonstrates God’s love for you, especially when you don’t feel like God even sees you anymore.
This Fall, we will following a devotional/study series called “Perfect” put out by Asbury Seminary in 2011.
A daily journey to embrace God’s love for us and become “perfect” in God’s love so that we are more able to give that love to others. It is a free, daily, devotional.
If you would like a copy, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will email you the
We’ll also be having a weekly zoom study on Wednesday evenings at 7 pm starting Sept. 2nd. Email me for the Zoom link.
I pray you will join me in letting go of all the things we’re trying to find “perfection” in so that we can have peace in God’s perfect love.
Grace and Peace,