Lois Synder died this year, she was 96. Mrs. Synder taught my 2nd grade Sunday school class and directed our Christmas pageant each year at the Christian Fellowship Church. I attended her memorial service with my mom and dad in the same auditorium where in 1952 Lois had decided to follow Jesus. When the Synder family walked into the service that afternoon I was moved. Before us stood 3 generations who follow Jesus nearly 60 years after Lois’ conversion.
In the service family and friends shared their memories of Lois. It was in these stories that we discovered the reason why her family still follows Jesus today: Lois loved well. She so loved her children and grandchildren in their formative years that this love overflowed to her great grandchildren. Not only did Lois love her family, but each week she would load her car with teaching materials and go share the gospel with children living in the inner-city.
Lois’ seemingly endless ability to love others flowed from her understanding of God’s love for her grounded in the cross of Jesus. God’s love for me will not be found in my circumstances, my heritage, my abilities, or my position, rather it is anchored in the truth that Jesus died for me. “. . . God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
God shows me how to love others in Jesus’ death for me. John writes: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 1 John 3:16-17” Once I begin to grasp the depth of God’s love for me, I am then able to love others in sacrificing my life for them. It will cost me to love my mate, my children, my friends, and my disciples.
How silly a question it would seem if we could ask Lois today, “Was it worth it?” I can only imagine the joy in her heart in seeing 3 generations loving God and loving one another.