Gave You All I Had…
I guess we’ve all felt like the words from the song “Grenade” at one time or another in our lives. The song is by Bruno Mars and it begins with “Easy come easy go that’s just how you live, Oh take, take, take it all but you never give. Should’ve known you was trouble from the first kiss Had your eyes wide open. Why were they open? Gave you all I had and you tossed it in the trash. You tossed it in the trash you did. To give me all your love is all I ever asked cause what you don’t understand is I’d catch a grenade for ya…”
The words are from a scorned lover, someone who gave everything they had but felt little back in return and felt their love was so lightly valued it was thrown away. I know that sometimes I feel like the more I give the more is expected and the more it is taken for granted and the more people’s expectations both of the church and of me become. The official video for the song shows the person feeling scorned towing a piano up a hill straining to pull it every step of the way.
I wonder if Jesus ever felt that way? I wonder if he ever felt like the more he loved people with all he had the more he was judged harshly by the very people whom he came to love? I wonder if he ever felt like people expected too much and gave back too little. I wonder if he felt his love was taken for granted and thrown away by the very people whom he came to love. I think he must have felt that way at least some of the time.
Certainly the parable of the Great Banquet in which a master gives a beautiful banquet and none of the invited guests bothers to respond would suggest Jesus knew the feeling of being rejected and ignored by the people he loved. The master responds to being ignored by inviting all the people who weren’t on the A-list. The poor and the lowly showed up and love the feast that was on. Surely Jesus was trying to tell us something…you think?
As we begin the season of Lent we are invited to step back and take a look at ourselves. We are encouraged to accept the love of the Lord and not be so quick to throw it away or to take, take, take and not give back. May this be a season when each of us more joyfully accepts the love God has given to us. May this be a season of thanking God for all his love. May this be a time when we respond to the love that we have been given. We all are invited to be a part in the gathered fellowship on Sunday mornings, don’t waste the invitation or the Lord will find others who are glad to come. May this be a season when we love more, judge less, forgive more, hang onto bitterness less. May this be a time of genuinely setting apart time to reflect on all that we have, all that God has blessed us with and returning the love we have received. Sounds like a plan to me!