By Megan Blansit
Founder of The Beautiful Movement - a youth ministry for high school girls. For more information, visit The Beautiful Movement’s Facebook page, where I post the time, place, and activity for each month
Flowers, sweet notes, chocolate, warm fuzzies… these are things that Valentine’s typically consists of, right? However, if you are single like me that may not be the case! But please, don’t feel sorry for me, because this past Sunday (Valentines Day) was actually one of the sweetest days I have had in awhile. Let me explain.
Two of my friends live in Birmingham and lead a Sunday school class for 11th grade girls. If you know me, you know high school girls are my passion! While spending the night with my friends, Saturday, they asked me to teach the next day. I was totally onboard and pumped! We discussed a message that I gave to The Beautiful Movement girls last February and then collaborated on a few more points. The message I am about to share with you rocked my world and I hope it does yours as well.
Lets take a look at John 13. The first half is about Jesus washing His disciples’ feet, just before the Passover Festival, but the second part is what I want to discuss right now. Fast forward to where Jesus is sitting at the table with his disciples, disclosing that one of them would betray him. Let’s check out verses 22-23, “ The disciples looked around at one another, wondering who on earth He was talking about. One of the disciples, the one Jesus loved dearly, was reclining against him, his head on his shoulder” HOLD UP! Am I the only one has overlooked the depth of verse 23?! Another version (ASV) says, “There was at the table reclining on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” Bosom refers to chest. If I am going to recline on someone’s shoulder or chest, that means I trust them. I will go as far to say that I probably deeply care about them and also know that they deeply care about me. For example, who reading this would just walk up to a stranger at Wal Mart and relax on someone’s shoulder? I imagine that would be quite awkward!
John knew Jesus loved him. Do you know that Jesus loves you? Do you trust Jesus enough to “lean in”, giving him everything? Do you know Him in this intimate way? Have you ever felt God wrap his love around you? Please stay with me…
Perhaps we are “sitting at the table” with Jesus but aren’t sitting next to him like John. Maybe we go to church once a week, twice if we are feeling it, but don’t know Him in the intimate way that John did. Someone reading this may be thinking, “Well, I don’t feel worthy enough to sit next to Him.” Friend, Christ never turns anyone away from His table! He longs for us to lean in, He longs for us to know him on a deeper level. He’s wanting to be that close with you, friend.
After finishing the message, we played the song, “The More I Seek You” by Kari Jobe, The lyrics remind me of John 13:22, “I want to sit at your feet, drink from the cup in your hand, LAY BACK AGAINST YOU and breathe, feel your heartbeat… This love is so deep, it’s more than I can stand, I melt in your peace, it’s overwhelming.” I had the girls, including myself, spread out in the room and sit up against the wall. Then I had them close their eyes and imagine they were actually leaning (reclining) on Jesus’ chest, all while listening to the song. I have to admit that I tried this at home first and honestly felt awkward and somewhat uncomfortable. The longer I sat there, trying to press in, the more I realized I didn’t fully trust Him enough to completely “lean in.” There were some walls that needed to come down in order for me to fully experience His complete love. Nothing was stopping me from that except myself. Perhaps I transferred my lack of trust with others onto Jesus. The moment I let my walls down, completely surrendering and trusting Him is the moment tears began to stream down my face. GOD IS GOOD YA’LL! Just like the lyrics above, “I melt in your peace, its overwhelming.” I was completely engulfed in God’s love; there is no sweeter place than in His presence.
Friend, I challenge you to try this. I challenge you to set aside alone time, play the song by Kari Jobe, sit against a wall, and seriously imagine yourself relaxing on Jesus. Let him love on you, let his presence permeate your hurt and cover you in peace. I dare you to go to that intimate place with Christ; everyone is welcome in his presence! In summary, Sunday was amazing! I witnessed girls reclining at the table with Jesus, weeping because they experienced the love of Christ. And that friend, is true love! Now, it’s your turn…