Justin Danielson – Minister, Parkview Christian Church
“Do You Love Me?” This is a question that you may have heard from someone or multiple people in your life over the years. In our context, it comes from the book of John, chapter 21. A couple months ago, we celebrated Valentine’s Day…a day that people were projected to spend $26 billion. As a kid, I can remember making a box the night before our school Valentine’s Day party that the coveted “Be Mine” cards would be put into. I remember the anticipation of looking at all the cards and receiving all the candy. Looking for that one special person’s signature brought a nervousness. You just didn’t want the To: and From: to be filled out. You were looking for the word LOVE to be written in their handwriting.
We sometimes use that word flippantly. I love tacos. I love summertime. I love basketball. I got a good lesson on the word love while Jenifer and I had been dating for just a little while, back in our college days. Jenifer was on a trip in Colorado and got stuck in a snowstorm. I was still back in Missouri. We were talking on the phone and at the end of our conversation I said, “I love you!” Then I thought the phone call must have been dropped. Crickets But, Jenifer carried on the conversation without saying the coveted words back. I was frustrated. When she got back, we discussed that word, “love.” She let me know that she wasn’t going to say that until she met the guy she was going to marry. Needless to say, she did eventually tell me she loved me, and we have said it a lot to one another for over 25 years now. I learned that the word love isn’t cheap or flippant.
In the Bible we find four main words for love: storge (affection/parent to child); philia/phileo (brotherly/friendship); eros (romantic); and agape (unconditional or selfless).
John chapter 21 tells of the third post-resurrection appearance of Jesus which is one of my favorites. We find in this chapter that Jesus had risen from the dead and had already made some appearances. Seven of the disciples decided to go fishing. This isn’t some random thing they were doing. At least four of the disciples were called from their boats and nets to come follow Jesus. Jesus told them in Matthew 4:19, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” So, it was natural for them to go back to what they knew, when they were at a loss after Jesus’ death.
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard