Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Greater Love

Every once in a while, I see a bumper sticker that quotes John 15:13 - "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." The funny thing about seeing this quote on a bumper sticker is that it is often in the company of military-oriented stickers. In that context, the obvious implication is that being a soldier and risking your life for others is the greatest expression of love.

While I can appreciate the spirit of self-sacrifice behind that thought, I can't imagine that Jesus was trying to say "Greater love has no man than this, that a man go and kill other people for his friends." I wonder what the reaction would be if the verse ended with "lay down his life for his enemies." That seems more in line with Jesus teaching about loving our enemies. And in the end, that's what Jesus did.

Update: My friend Shane pointed me to this article entitled Thank God for Enemies.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Meeting for Worship for Peace

Tonight Atlanta Friends Meeting held our first Meeting for Worship for Peace. As I mentioned back in August, in a Meeting for Worship for Peace we hold individuals, groups and situations in the light, specifically with an orientation towards peace work.

Going in, I was a little apprehensive over how the meeting would turn out. My friend Dwight did a lot of work to get the meeting going, and we wondered if we would be the only ones there. We ended up with 7 people, which seems about usual for week-day events at our meeting house, and Dwight did a lovely job as the convener. The meeting was the kind of deep worship we had experienced during Meeting for Worship for Healing, and those in attendance seemed excited that it would be a monthly event.

Of the people we held in the light, only one of them was actually in attendance. As with Meeting for Worship for Healing, it seemed easier to focus on the person in attendance. Someone suggested that maybe we could bring a picture or some item representing someone not in attendance to help us focus a little better next time. We'll give that a try.

We get caught up in what we are doing sometimes, and forget that God is there as our foundation. I believe that this kind of meeting helps us maintain that connection.