Laying Down Our Lives
Jesus says that He is the Good Shepherd who will lay down his life for his sheep. At first, this sounds like hyperbole since what shepherd would die for a few animals. But when you consider that sheep were possibly the most valuable commodity a person might have, and they would mean his family’s livelihood, it makes more sense. But Jesus, in referring to us as sheep, tells us how much God values us. John also talks of dying for one another and says this is the kind of love we should have for our fellow sheep, perhaps literally, but also giving of anything we have that will help someone else live loving them in deed as well as in word.
God, source of all life, You showed the depth of Your love when You died on the cross for us. You call us to love others in the same way. Yet our love is often shallow. We will help our neighbors as long as it is convenient. We will off a little of ourselves, but rarely share from our depths. Forgive us, and teach us to love freely and fully, as You have loved us.