Jesus answered him, "Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. (John 14:23 NRSV)

Years ago, a man was driving on a sleepy two-lane highway running through the rural countryside. He noticed an old tumbledown shack standing isolated in the middle of an open field. He smiled as he read the crudely painted message on one whole side of the shack. Some young man had scrawled in large letters with a piece of chalk, "I love you, Kathy."

A few weeks later, as he drove down the same road, he looked in anticipation for the painted message. His disappointment was as great as his surprise. Not only was the message gone, the entire shack had been torn down.

A week later, however, as he drove by that now barren field, his smile returned. Beside that field, on the back of a large road sign, scrawled in large white letters was the message, "I still love you, Kathy."

Nearly 2000 years ago, a young prophet named Jesus of Nazareth proclaimed the unconditional love of God for humanity. The message offended some and angered others. A cross was raised on a hill outside Jerusalem in an attempt to destroy God's message of love. But as the sun rose on that first Easter morning, the world discovered that though the instrument could be destroyed, the message grows even stronger.

God of peace, thank you for your messenger of love. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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