No Greater Love   Leave a comment

I have a tendency to take things literally and so I think this has colored my understanding of the text in John 16 where Jesus says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  If you read on from that point, where Jesus says he’s calling his disciples friends, it’s easy to infer that he’s referring to what he’s about to do.  And Jesus does literally give his life for his friends, which includes his 12 disciples, but us as well.  So until last week, I didn’t get any further with that verse than thinking 1) Jesus is stating what he’s about to do for us and 2) he’s saying that a willingness to even die for someone else if needed is the test that you really love.

There is so much more to it than that.

So forgive me for stating the obvious (if this was already obvious to you), but this time when I read those verses I saw something else.

It isn’t laid down all at once. It’s laid down each moment of each day.
If you lay down your life, that does not necessarily mean that you die doing it.
Maybe you don’t die.
Maybe you are already laying down your life.
Maybe you are laying down what you want, your ideas and plans, even the idea that it is your life to begin with.
Perhaps you are in a difficult work situation or relationship situation, that requires dedication. It goes on and is not temporary. It’s not what you signed up for, but it the reality you currently face. In moving forward through the challenges of it, you are laying down your life.

As you get older, perhaps you feel it more, this laying down. As you go forward, it’s unrolling like a layer of asphalt or perhaps a lovely red carpet. There will be an end to it, not seen by you, but you know it’s closer. Maybe that’s why you feel the laying down.
Also you can’t take it up again; you can’t get it back. It’s irretrievable.
When you give it away, it’s given, it’s gone. But that is as it should be, because after all, you are laying it down.

No greater love.  You lay it down.

 

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Posted December 28, 2017 by swanatbagend in servanthood

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