Today is Friday the 7 May, in the Fifth Week of Easter.
Paul Zach and Liz Vice sing, ‘Take My Life and Let it Be’.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of John.
Jesus said to his disciples: “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. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.”
“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” These words are often seen on war memorials, acknowledging the sacrifice made by those who died in battle. Can I see how this saying might have meaning for me, in my life?
“You did not choose me, but I chose you.” Perhaps I feel thankful about being chosen in this way. Perhaps I want to know more about what exactly I’ve been chosen for. More specifically, more immediately, how can I live out the gift I’ve been given, this friendship with Christ, in the day facing me?
Listening to the passage again, notice the radical distinction Jesus draws between servants and friends. A servant’s involvement is always limited. Servants only work at what they are allowed or told to do. He calls his followers friends. With a close friend, you share everything. As you listen, notice how you might feel if you were merely a servant, and how you feel knowing that Jesus calls you his friend…
Talk now to God in your own words about what friendship with Jesus means for you. Talk about the ways you would like that friendship with Jesus to deepen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.