On Good Friday we remember Jesus’ supreme act of laying down his life for us and his invitation to us to lay down our lives in the service of the Gospel.
We are mistaken if we think the choice is between laying down our lives and not laying down our lives. The question is not, are you going to lay down your life? No, that’s not the question. The question is, what are you going to lay down your life in service of?
We all lay down our lives for something. When I was a teenager, I played on the golf team for a local club. Something struck me even at that age about a group of guys who were always at the club. They played golf and would meet for drinks in the club house, they sat on the board of the club, and would insert themselves into all manner of situations that arose on the course and around the club. The gold club had an extensive groundskeeping crew to tend to the course and the gardens, but I would even see some of these guys pulling weeds out of the gardens for hours at a time.
Much later I realized that we all lay our lives down for something and they were laying down their lives for the golf club. It was their whole life and that is sad and tragic. I have often wondered since, did they do it intentionally or did it just sort of happen? Were they conscious of their choice or did they just unconsciously stumble into it?
Today’s difficult teaching is this…
“No one has greater love than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.”
It is from John’s Gospel, chapter 15, verse 13.
We all lay our lives down for something. What are you laying your life down for? Are you doing it intentionally or unconsciously?
Some people lay down their lives by working hard and making sacrifices to support their families. Some people lay down their lives in defense of goodness and freedom. Some people lay down their lives in service to God and His people. Some lay down their lives in service to the poor. Others lay down their lives by spending their lives serving others through their professional calling. Some lay down their lives to raise their children.
Most of us lay down our lives for some combination of causes, some better than others. Most of us lay down our lives driven by a variety of motives, some born of love and others distorted by selfishness.
The point is, you are going to lay down your life, you are laying down your life. We all spend our lives for a cause. Today is a day to reflect, to consider who and what you are laying your life down for, to make the necessary adjustments, and to plead with Jesus for the grace to lay down our lives lovingly and heroically.
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