Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Greatest Thing?

I love jazz music.  There's a number of reasons why, but one of which is (in my opinion), the richness of the lyrics found in many jazz standards.  I like songs that transport you, or get you thinking.  One of those songs is called "Nature Boy," written in 1947 and first made popular by Nat Cole, (since recorded by dozens of artists...I have arrangements by Chet Baker, Harry Connick Jr, and Peter Cincotti).  What strikes me in this song is the spiritual truth embedded in it...unbeknownst to the author I'm guessing.  Take a quick read through the lyrics...

There was a boy
A very strange enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far, very far
Over land and sea
A little shy and sad of eye
But very wise was he


And then one day
One magic day he passed my way
And while we spoke of many things
Fools and kings
This he said to me


"The greatest thing you'll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return"


Now think for a moment the central teaching of Jesus...boiled down really simply, it's
1) Love God (Great commandment)
2) Love People (2nd Greatest commandment)
3) God Loves (both God is love, and God loves you)

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him."
(1 John 4:7-9)

What's the point?  Isn't this blog kind of obvious?  Why did I write this?  Maybe because I think we tend to over-complicate life and God, sometimes.  The ironic thing about the gospel of Christ - it's simple enough for a child to understand it, and complex enough that the smartest scholars that have ever lived don't agree on all the nuances of our Christian doctrine.

Why did I write this?  Maybe because I think nature boy was right.  The greatest thing is to love, and be loved in return.  A love of God, a love of people, motivated by God's unconditional love for us.  At the end of the day, we will be judged by how well we loved, for it is "love" that marks us as a child of God.

Today, pray that God would put someone in your path that needs your love and in turn, a touch of His grace.

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