Words from the Heart for Tuesday April 4th, 2017
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15:13 (NRSV)
No Greater Love
Jesus shared many things with His disciples in the final days before the cross. He was teaching them about how they, too, could partner with the Lord in doing the will of God. In His words, Jesus set a very high standard for true sacrifice for the sake of friends. The disciples would see the cruelty of those who were his enemies. They would see what real sacrifice is. However, Jesus did it for us, for all mankind—even for His enemies.
When asked in 2014 to give a reason to love Canada, former Prime Minister Paul Martin told the story of walking into the gym at Gordon Bell High School in Winnipeg. He said that at one end of the gym was a group of ten aboriginal women drumming – and they were terrific. At the other end of the gym was a group of 20 African-Canadian drummers and they were just as good. As he listened he realized the two groups were playing in sync and off each other, and he was deeply moved. Paul Martin said “I asked the indigenous students about these kids who were either Canadian-born or from all over the world, how they work together. And I asked the other students how they work with the aboriginal students. And they both said: ‘We’re building a country together.’”
There are many ways that we can express our love for someone. Acts of kindness are often the simplest, but most impactful ways. The gift of time is always appreciated. In the busyness of our lives, giving someone our time shows how much we care. The best present that a grandparent can get is something made by one of the grandkids. Sometimes a gift can be lifesaving. If you have been the recipient of a life giving organ, you know what a great sacrifice was made for you to have the quality of life that you do, and perhaps even the life. The Bible speaks of the gift that proves the greatest love. In John 15:13 Jesus says “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” He is pointing to His own death, of course. The Bible tells us that God so loved the world that He gave us His one and only Son. And while the gift of Jesus’ presence was such a blessing to the first disciples, the greatest expression of His love was when He took the punishment on the cross that they, and we, deserve. There has never been a greater example of love than Jesus’ sacrifice. Once we have experienced by faith the fullness of the love of Jesus, we are called to love others just as sacrificially. How can you do that today?
These have been words from the heart.