Nail Pierced Hands, Wounded Side: This is Love.

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” (1 John 3:16)

What is love? John tells we learn what love is at the cross. Jesus and Paul both tell us that to love god and to love others fulfills all the laws and regulations handed down to us in the scriptures.  We love, John tells us elsewhere, because Christ first loved us. To love is to sacrifice and put others needs (not their wants) before our own. Scripture places the greatest burden here upon the leaders in our communities: fathers, husbands, pastors, employers, office holders on all levels. Those most likely to lord it over us and twist this scripture to demand others sacrifice themselves to meet their demands stand condemned before the cross, where the greatest of all became the servant of all and laid down his life.

We all stand equal before Christ, because all of us are equally compelled to lay down our lives and submit to one another in love. Let us emulate Christ, gentle readers, but also let us  also call those over us to account for their sin when they would wickedly crush under foot and devour the flock in the holy name of Christ, lest his name be blasphemed.

We thank you, Lord, for your salvation, and example, on the cross. We pray as leaders and as otherwise, we would emulate your example. Give us wisdom to choose, in every arena, leaders who love their people as you do. Grant us wisdom on when and how to lovingly hold to account leaders who blaspheme your name by actions that do not align with the law of love. Check us in our own spirits when we are not loving others as you first loved us. In Jesus’ precious name we pray, amen.