would you meet my dear friend, jess thompson? guest posting like a rock star today.
some of you know her mother, elyse fitzpatrick. together they wrote a parenting book that i am loving right now called, Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus
this book is kicking my bun cheeks. hard.
anyway, jess is a blessing to me and an encouragement daily. i'm not sure what to say about her because God has just been kind to bring her friendship to me. like, have you ever had a friendship that is redemptive and healing? like every day, knowing that person helps you see Jesus more? she does that for me. annnnnd i cry when i think about it.
enough of the mushy stuff!
i hope that today you will get to be encouraged by her words and by the gospel.
Recently at a family party my daughter had a fever, I had warned her over and over again not to breathe on or touch anybody. My family knew she was sick and decided to come anyway. When everybody arrived we were saying hello and hugging each other. My sister-in-law, Michelle and I exchanged hugs, and my daughter was standing behind her. She smiled and said, “Air hug!” and hugged the air around her auntie. Aunt Michelle reached down and gave my daughter a huge hug. You should have seen the smile that spread across my little girl’s face. It was brilliant. The joy that hug produced could have electrified Las Vegas for a week.
Later that evening, as I was thinking about the day, I remembered the hug. I was thinking about what made it so special. The fact that Michelle had chosen to touch Allie, knowing Allie wasn’t feeling well is what made it extraordinary. Allie didn’t expect a hug; she knew she shouldn’t be touched.
The situation brought to mind Jesus life here on earth. It was categorized by coming in contact with the sick. He touched the untouchable lepers. He gave sight to the blind. He brought life to the dead and the dying. He didn’t mind being surrounded by those who were sick. It is astonishing really; all of his life was a giving up of health and comfort, a lying down of the very things we clamor after every single day.
It doesn’t stop there though. He didn’t just heal those who were sick physically. He actually touched those who were morally unclean. He allowed a prostitute to wash his feet, a woman who was paid to be touched and to touch others, a woman who sold her very self, this woman touched the spotless Lamb of God. He shared meals with the tax collectors, the betrayers, those that gave up their own people to make a little money. Romans 8:3-4 takes that even a step further, “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
He doesn’t simply come in contact with sinners, he doesn’t just try to help the morally unfit become better. He actually came to condemn our sin, by living perfectly and paying for our sins with his death. He came to take our moral decay, our sin, our deadness and give us his righteousness, his life. What he did was so much more than a simple hug, it was an embrace that covered him in our filth and made us perfectly clean all at the same time. This embrace cost him everything. “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17) Hear Jesus’ words to you today: all we are required to do is receive his love and believe that we are the sinners he came to call. Then we can experience the unending joy of being the recipient of love that is undeserved, a touch that is shockingly unexpected and forgiveness that covers all our sins.
This one way love coming
right at us
and to us
and pursuing usis all we need.
Jessica Thompson has a bachelor’s degree in theology. She co-authored Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesuswith her mother, Elyse Fitzpatrick. Her next book,Exploring Grace Together: 40 Devotionals for the Family, is due to be released in early 2014. She has been married for 18 years to her high-school sweetheart. Together they have three kids, ranging in age from nine to 14.
Twitter @jesslou or @givethemgrace
Facebook: Give Them Grace