Friday night as Julia and I were driving along, we passed an old farmer struggling to take care of his flock in the rain. Julia commented that she’d never noticed sheep there before and I said “I’m pretty sure that’s where Mr P lives- remember how often he’d come out to the farm and help us?”
And then Julia said something that’s stayed on my mind “I wonder if he still stays away from church because of all the hypocrites.”
I don’t know his story- Julia heard a lot more about it than I did- but somehow- somewhere-something went wrong.
I was reading in John 15 about our call to love. “Love one another as I love you” Jesus tells us. Simple as that. And really, I think behind that simple command, is the key to what sets Christianity apart. Love for each other, love for all people, most importantly- Love for God and His Son and His Holy Word.
Yet it’s scary too- because I think that’s where it’s easiest to mess up too- to miss that opportunity to extend grace to the discouraged sister on the pew beside us…
But what really strikes me today is the next verse “Greater love has no one than this- than to lay down his life for a friends” Obviously- Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice by laying down his life to cover the sin of the world…
This is incredible to think about. Would I be willing to give up my life for someone? Sure- I can say- I have that kind of love. (It sounds good saying it- but who is called to practice that) I’d hope I’d be willing- but the chance of an opportunity to die for someone is not very likely.
(Thanks archives for the pics Paradise Lane 9-14)
So how is it possible to live that out? I thought about sacrificial love a lot the past couple days- one of the farms in our area lost a silo. I totally empathized with the family because of our farm’s experience last Sept. We went down to look at the site and the farmer’s daughter was telling me that the silo went over at 10;30 and help started rolling in right away . Another guy told me he got there by shortly after 12 and clean up was already in progress.
That impressed me. Mid Thursday morning,you know all those men had their day’s work planned and underway. But when the call came in- their friend was in need. They “laid down” their own agendas and headed out the lane- their families covering as best they could- blessing them in their efforts.
This morning, Emily got the 911 call about a barn fire where my parents had farmed years ago. We went to the site- my heart breaks for the family and their shock and their loss- but again, I was blessed by the number of people who had left their warm houses before dawn, to again go where there was a need… What a blessing a community is!
Isn’t this what it’s all about? We are called to love! Whether it’s putting aside our plans today, to be the Hands of the One who gave all, in the face of a calamity… Or if it’s extending grace to the one we don’t understand… It’s why we are here! And if we could capture this concept in its entirety… Wow- what world changers the church could be…
My prayer for this week- Teach me to love as He loved,