I’ve been teaching the book of John to a group of third and fourth graders every Monday night since September. Half the class is nice and quiet – just the way I like it – and the other half is rowdy. Last night they were extra rowdy – pouts, tears, an injury, two kids under the table – all in the first 15 minutes.
We were in chapter 15 and I was explaining what Jesus meant by, “I am the vine and you are the branches.” I told them the Holy Spirit is like the sap that flows from the vine out to the tip of the branches to produce fruit. As long as we stay attached to Jesus, the Holy Spirit will flow through us, producing good and exciting things.
Things that last.
Then we got to the part where Jesus told His disciples – and us – to love the way He loves.
And that brought us to verse 13.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
I wanted to illustrate what that looks like in everyday life.
So I told them about Tuscany. I told them that the hub and I have been saving money to take a trip there as soon as he retires. We want to see the countryside and eat good food and take a cooking class.
I also told them that we have spent A LOT of money on emergency vet bills in the last few years. (Over $40,000 the hub tells me but I didn’t tell the youngsters that.)
“And now today,” I said, “the beagle we adopted 4 weeks ago had surgery. And it’s expensive. So we’ll take more money out of our Tuscany fund to pay for it.
And we probably won’t get to go on our trip.
But that’s okay.
Because greater love has no one than this: to lay down your Tuscany for your beagle.”
The rowdy ones, who didn’t appear to be listening, their interest quickened by the example, gave a hearty laugh.
P.S. The hospital just called. Dixie did very well overnight. She’s comfortable, bright, alert, responsive and she’s coming home this evening. I’ll keep you posted.