Greetings in the name of our loving Saviour Jesus Christ.
A couple of weeks ago, my wife Suliana and I boarded a flight to Melbourne. We had planned a getaway for some time now, and the opportunity had finally arrived. We were excited and welcomed a brief time to rest from the busyness of ministry. We arranged to stay with family whom we had not seen in months and what made this trip special for me was (1) It was me and wife time (yay!) and (2) I was going to see JESUS! It had been almost two and a half years since I last saw him. When Jesus was born, as many are aware, the setting was a humbling one. As the boy Jesus grew in age, those who knew Jesus noticed that there was something special about him. Jesus was unlike many other children. He was very quiet – almost mute. When children his age were around, Jesus would quench his fascination for heights by finding a tree to climb. He also loved the dirt and spent most of his time either around the garden, pot plants, or sand pits. He loved the feel of it sifting through his hands, between his fingers. I grew very close to Jesus. However, one day, his parents decided to move their family across the ditch. I knew I would miss him. You could say that life for me was something else without Jesus around. So, I was excited! As the plane slowly descended over the Melbourne night sky, low enough to notice the spectacle that was the lit-up city below us, I was overwhelmingly filled with emotion. Coincidentally, the music track that I was listening to over the scratchy airline headphones, was John Legend’s love song “All of Me.” And as Legend sang the lyrics, “Cos’ all of me, loves all of you; loves your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections…” a tear escaped my eye, as it dawned on me that somewhere beneath us, among those lights, was JESUS. I couldn’t wait to see him. (I quickly wiped my tear so to keep my “tough points” with my wife).
We loved our time together with Jesus. He had remembered me… He is now 6 years of age. He looks slightly bigger than when I last saw him, and he still loves to play with the dirt. One morning, I got to say goodbye to Jesus as he boarded his bus for school. I’ve always wondered what his daily routine looked like – and I caught a glimpse of it. Jesus was diagnosed with autism from a young age. Autism is defined as a disorder characterized by lack of response and limited ability to communicate. In today’s world, I’m not sure whether this definition refers to the diagnosed or to those undiagnosed and our inability to communicate with or respond to the Jesus in our society, communities, churches and homes. Paul’s letter to the Galatians (2:20) reminds us that Christ lives not only among us - but in us. It is a beautiful thing then, when the Christ in one person connects to the Christ in another (for me, this is when the unity of the Body of Christ becomes real). This understanding helps me to love all of Jesus; “all his curves and all his edges; and all his perfect imperfections.”
Does Christ in you see the Christ in others? It’s a beautiful thing when Christ in us loves the Christ in others. Go then, and do the same.
Inspired by and dedicated to my nephew Sammy.
Rev. Gary Mauga.
Talofa lava and greetings in the name of Jesus.
The world we live in today continues to struggle to grasp the true nature of love – just as those who followed Jesus during his earthly ministry struggled to grasp Jesus, himself, God incarnate, who was and is LOVE (1 John 4:8). If the way I love is anything to go by, then, perhaps there are others who, like me, do not have LOVE sorted out either. For LOVE cannot be selective. LOVE should be all-inclusive, without boundary, unconditional. However, what I see in my own life, and in the people and world around me, are facets of LOVE rather than something complete and whole.
Here’s what I believe LOVE is today:
“Love is impatient and cruel; it is jealous and conceited and proud; love is ill-mannered and selfish and irritable; love keeps record of wrongs; love is happy with evil, but not happy with truth. Love gives up, and its faith, hope, and patience will always fail. Love never lasts.”
And here is what LOVE CAN BE:
“Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail. Love is eternal (1 Cor. 13: 4-8).”
My brothers and sisters in Christ, we are called to be the light of LOVE in a dark and often unloving world. We are bearers of a message of LOVE in all its fullness. We are called to be the light of LOVE as a husband, a father, a mother, a spouse, a son, a daughter, a child. Will you be a light of LOVE, a light of Christ, to those around you? It may mean breaking the traditions of the way we have LOVED for so long.
Settle not for what LOVE is today – strive for what LOVE CAN BE.
Rev. Gary Mauga
Rev. Gary Mauga
Thoughts and comments by our minister, Gary.
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Rev. Gary Mauga