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As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

John 15.9-13


To lay down one's life for friends - Jesus is talking here not just to those who will die for others, though he himself is about to offer his own life as an act of love standing up to injustice, he is talking about the sacrifices we all must make as we lay down our own self-interests in the service of others. 

To lay down our lives is to be willing to look at the needs of others alongside our own needs, and to do what is needful for them. Not to be 'doormats' or to open ourselves up to being abused, but to be willing to put aside our own concerns, comforts, even our own self-absorbed attitudes, for the good of those who may not be like us, for the good of the marginalized and excluded, for the good of community. 

On this day when we remember the great self-offering of Jesus and we mourn the violence and power of state and religious authorities used to silence the voice of love and justice, we remember that our lives of self-giving must be carefully stewarded. These words of self sacrifice have often been used to keep the week, abused, neglected, in their place and to tell the poor and needy to accept their lot. This is not what Jesus is saying. Jesus calls us to consider how we give of ourselves for the well-being of others, and of the world.

May we have the love, wisdom, and discernment, to know what that means for us. 


Prayer of Commitment

Holy God, may we hear your voice
In the stillness of night, in clatter of day
You call us, and we respond,
Here I am!
May we follow you and
May we love as you love.

Holy One, through trials and turbulence
Make us steady, your hands
Holding strong the fragile and weak
May we love as you love.

Gracious God, may the fruits of our lives
be food for the hungry, bread
clothing, shelter, fire, water, Word
May we love as you love.

God of justice, remove the barriers
Of our lives that keep us from
One another, barriers we construct
Based on skin color, religion, or gender
May we hear, and follow, graciously.
May we love as you love.

Loving God, take this day our fears our
Worries, distractions, and all
Turn them into grace and mercy,
And, following the example of Martin Luther King, Jr.
and all your Saints,
May we love as you love.


written by Terri, and posted on the RevGalBlogPals blog.  Shared by re:Worship