There is an old story about Karl Barth, a famous theologian, who summed up his theology by quoting the words to the song "Jesus loves me". There are indicators that he gave that answer in at least two places, Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago and Union Theological seminary in Richmond VA. The story serves to convey how the depth of the relationship between Jesus and HIs disciples can be communicated simply.
Memorial Day, which we observe today, is designed to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military It is a day that we use to recognize the sacrifice that was paid for our way of life as U.S. citizens.
The bible tells us that our citizenship is elsewhere. That is what Paul states to the Philippian church in Philippians 3:20 "Our citizenship is in heaven". Just like blood was spilled to secure our citizenship in the U.S. and the rights that go with that; blood was spilled to secure our citizenship in heaven and to enjoy the rights and blessings that go with that.
It is on this point that I take some exception to the wonderful song "Jesus Loves me". Please hear me. It is a great song, it communicates some marvelous truths. The words "little ones to Him belong, we are weak but He is strong" communicate relationship, dependency, protection, and His power. My exception is that for some it reduces His love to a touchy-feely mantra.
Yes, Jesus loves me (and you), to Him I (and you) I belong. We are encouraged by remembering that although we may lack the strength to face what life brings, He is strong and will help us get through it. But that relationship, that love, is so much more than a touch-feeling mantra. Peter reminds us in 1Peter 1:118-19 [Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, lit that o fa lamb without blemish or spot.] His love cost the spilling of HIs blood, the crushing of HIs body, and the forfeiture of HIs life on the cross.
On this Memorial Day as we honor those who gave so much for our freedom; let us also remember the cost that allows us to sing "Jesus loves me this I know".
Have a blessed Monday