Today's Gospel: John 15:12-17

Today we are given a command by Jesus. This is neither a suggestion nor a request. It’s just one statement rather than a whole flow chart of possibilities, so we get the feeling that this is Gospel Concentrate, that one powerful distilled drop of DO THIS if you want to be on God’s good side:

Love one another as I love you.

We just have to look at those outstretched, nail-pierced arms on the cross and the “as I love you” part becomes daunting, even terrifying. But Christ didn’t begin to get to know His friends and show His love for them on the cross. He finished the job on Calvary, but He started when He stepped out of Heaven and straight into a food trough. He got to know and love His friends by teaching them even when He was tired, or healing them even when he was hungry, or sharing the truth even though He knew it would be rejected. He walked and walked and walked beside them, as He walks beside us, wherever the Father asked Him to go. Only He could complete that final salvific act of sacrifice on the cross, but we can all spend our lives laying them down for our friends.

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In what ways am I called to lay down my life today?


Lord, help me spend time getting to know those you're calling me to love.


Copyright 2017 Marybeth Bishop

Marybeth is a wife and mother of five living in Annapolis, Maryland.

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