"Tell me, do you love me? Do you love me? Do you love me? Now that I can dance?" Ah, the Countours...sing it boys! I love that song. "I can mash-potato. And I can do the twist. Now tell me baby, do you like it like this?" Impatient little cusses, they are, though. Three times they ask "do you love me?" and barely even give a body a chance to answer in between.
What is it within us that has this need to be loved? Is it born within us? Do we develop it as we grow? And why would they sing a song about it, just repeating that question over and over again? This is where I wish I had majored in Psychology instead of Biology. I would love to be able to find the answers to questions like this.
The Contours aren't the only ones who asked that question, and they're not the only ones who asked it three times in a row. "Simon, son of John, do you truly love me more than these?...Simon, son of John, do you truly love me?...Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He barely had time to answer, "Yes Lord, you know that I love you..." before the next "Do you love me?" was already in the air. Why the impatience, Jesus?
I think, and this is just me, but I think the Contours were probably singing about a girl who obviously wasn't paying one of them enough attention. Evidently, he sucked on the dance floor, as do I. For Jesus and Simon Peter it was different. Peter had totally denied even knowing Jesus, and I can imagine that must have hurt. Imagine, one of your best friends, someone you have spent most of every day with for years, suddenly saying they don't even know you. Worse than saying it, acting like it. It had to cut deep.
Jesus didn't act like we would have though. I would have been all, "Yeah, well, your loss baby! I didn't really like you anyhow." But not Jesus. After THAT night, after that next day, after that morning a few days later, Jesus looked him in the eyes and gave him another chance. Sometimes that's all we need, you know, a chance to prove ourselves. "Simon, son of John, do you love me? Then feed my sheep." What's so cool is that we get those same second chances...Peter isn't the only one that Jesus asks that question.
This week, I have been hammered with hate from practically every side. Not directed at me, it's actually been a pretty good week for me so far, but comments that I've heard folks make on Facebook. Hateful comments. Totally not-Christian comments. I have to say, it ticks me off, but more than that, it makes me wonder if we actually love him at all. I just don't know, and it makes my job so frustrating sometimes. Don't get me wrong, the comments I'm talking about haven't come from any of my folks. My folks are great, and it is a privilege to serve them. However, some of the folks making these comments ARE leaders in their churches, whichever church it may be. Which makes me wonder, "Do ya' love me?"
I'm terribly afraid that Jesus would be terribly disappointed in the true answers from some of his admirers. Notice I didn't say followers, but admirers. You know the folks that show up on Sunday morning to be seen. Don't forget the ones with the cute little, "In case of rapture this car will be unmanned" bumper stickers, right next to the "Kill them all, let God sort them out" bumper sticker, right next to the "Honk if you love Jesus" bumper sticker while they were flipping someone the bird for cutting them off in traffic...on the way to church. Just saying.
"Simon, son of John, do you love me? Feed my sheep." I don't know how Jesus meant for him to feed them, I don't think it was a physical meal. I'm not real sure how Jesus wants us to feed them. But I do know we are being asked, "do you love me?" and if we say yes, then we show that love for HIM by loving THEM...all of THEM.