I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly — John 10:10, NASB
Today is Maundy Thursday. At first glance, it seems a bit ironic to reflect on abundant life on this day commemorating one of the last days of Christ’s life. And yet… wasn’t his life a life lived to the full? His life was focused completely on his priorities — God’s priorities. Jesus’s life here on this earth was not abundant because it was easy. It was not abundant because he was materially rich. It was not abundant because he was liked by everyone he met. No… his life was often difficult, he had little to call his own, and he was often misunderstood even by those who were closest to him.
Living life to the full has nothing to do with having plenty of money. It has nothing to do with having lots of friends. An abundant life comes with recognizing each day for what it adds to life. Even the really tough ones… the ones where we are at a crossroads of what to do with a relationship, the ones where we feel abandoned by everyone, the ones where we wonder if God still cares. An abundant life is a life focused on goals that sometimes take pain to get to. An abundant life is a life focused on connecting with other people to enrich their lives instead of ours. An abundant life is one spent doing as Jesus did — getting to know people, really know people; reaching out in love; crying with them through the tough times, and reaching out for support on those dark nights when we need companions. An abundant life is one where we may be scared of the dark times or the valleys of life… and yet we realize that God has a purpose in them. An abundant life is a life lived in community, preferably with other people but always with God. With God… not in fear of God… not worrying if we stuck a toe over the wrong line… but a life knowing how loved we are. How amazing is that?
Maybe this day where we remember Jesus through communion is appropriate after all to reflect on his example of a life lived abundantly — a life where he was not only a teacher who spoke truth but also a human who lived through dark and bright times, and a life where he was, most importantly, aware of his status of the Beloved as God’s beloved Son.
Peace and abundance be yours today…