“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return”
The first Christmas Album that I put into the CD player in my vehicle this year was Harry Connick Jr’s Harry for the Holidays. I have no idea how long I’ve owned this CD 10 years maybe. Every year I start listening in October and a song on this album caught my attention like I was hearing it for the first time. The song is “Nature Boy” first recorded by Nat King Cole in 1947.
The line above, “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return,” however I believe that we first need to know that we are loved and that process ideally begins when we are infants, toddlers, children unable to fend for ourselves, just as we need food, shelter, clothing, and sunshine, we need to be loved. This is outside of our control.
Last week I wrote about forgiveness (I did not publish) which I believe is a way of loving, especially if the one who has offended you does not even know that they have hurt you. Don’t take offense because Jesus has taken it on – it is covered in His blood and I am free to forgive. All of my sins past, present, and future were paid for at the cross.
I heard a brother say once in facing his own mortality that he had to get right with His Maker. This is a brother in Christ who is not assured of this total forgiveness. This is where some of the mystery of the Gospel comes in – if you are in Christ you are already dead and your life is hidden in Christ.
“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:11 ESV)
“For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3 ESV)
I would contend that dead people can’t do much of anything. The dead can not do any living. Paul also says in the book of Galatians that he has been crucified with Christ and is no longer living but Christ is now living in him. The life he lives, he lives by faith in the Son of God. So, we who are living as Christ’s followers, we are called to live the life of loving. Learning to love is and will be a life long process for me. The first 20 years of my life I did not do a very good job at living or loving, I might even want to say that I was pretty much dead in the love department and “to love is to live” as my friend Drummond says as I quoted in my last post.
Back to Harry and his cover of Nature Boy. The music is haunting.
To know that we are loved is the key to loving ourselves and in turn being able to love others well.