War and peace - Day 4

Act of love

Jesus urges his disciples to imitate him in love. That could even lead to death, Jesus says in John 15:13. In the verses that follow, Jesus will therefore speak about his own suffering, as an inspiration for his disciples. Just as Jesus died on the cross, so his followers must suffer. Verse 13, which talks about giving your life for your friends, was used by loved ones of deceased soldiers to honour them. The text is often found on tombstones of soldiers who were killed during the First World War. Thus, verse 13 is used in a different context than in the Bible. For the bereaved, our loved ones gave their lives for their friends, just as Jesus says in John 15.

Today we would be less likely to connect war and love. Yet, the starting point of the next of kin and of Jesus, in John 15, is the same: the importance of acting out of love. Love should be your motivation. You should have so much love, that you are willing to give your life for the other.

If you live in South Africa at the present time, you may not easily find yourself in a situation where you can give your life for your friends. What else, then, could be your greatest act of love?