My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command John 15:12-14
We have seen in this COVID-19 pandemic some behaviors that are absolutely heroic. Individuals have been profiled who traveled to other states to volunteer their healthcare expertise. Some of them died doing it. Time and again, we hear of first responders who risk their lives daily, and the vast majority are not mentioned by name. Too many to mention. This crisis has brought out the very best in so many people.
However, human behavior is complex, and many people respond in ways that are selfish, and uncaring toward their fellow human beings.
Before Jesus went to his death on the cross, he met with his beloved followers and laid out some beautiful ideas for how we should live. He pointed out that his love for them meant going to a painful death in just a few short hours. He told them that the way they could consider themselves as his friend was to live a life that was “laid down for their friends”.
Laying down our life for our friends does not always mean dying for them. There are many people who do, as mentioned above, and there have been millions of examples throughout the ages of history. But generally, “laying down our life” can simply mean that I will do something out of my way, out of my own comfort, for the benefit of others. Again, we see this all around us, and it is gratifying.
So, I have a simple, humble request. As we all venture out more with social restrictions lessening, please consider the well-being of others. It may not sound heroic, or even that hard, but it is a loving thing to do.
Prayer: I thank you Jesus for having the plan that we can best love you by loving other people, Amen.