How often has a child approached a parent and said, with arms outstretched, “Do you love me this much?”? And to a young heart’s delight, Dad or Mom with arms stretched much farther than a child could imagine replies, “I love you MORE than this!” This little exchange captures a truth that is more often lived than explained.
In a very different kind of language Jesus describes what love makes possible. It is beyond our imaginations and quite often exceeds our limited reach. Sometimes the people we love are limited to a small circle of people on whom we are dependent. In some ways it can be selfish. Jesus challenges us to reach out beyond what is most familiar. He shows us how to love even a stranger or someone who is not able to give us anything in return.
Parents are like that. Seeing the Canadian flag this Canada Day will remind us of the many thousands who sacrificed in war and conflict and the many generations who worked hard to ensure a future for unseen generations. We can only marvel at their love and look to Jesus to help us imitate them.