Saturday, January 23, 2010

No Greater Love

No one has greater love than the one who gives his life for his friends.

The apostle John knew what love looks like first hand. He saw in the life of Jesus someone who would go into places to rescue people when no one else would. Jesus deliberately went to those who were in the grip of sin that would lead to death, and rescued them. That came to mind in a vivid way this week.

Friday morning I was honored to be invited to the graduation of 1 Lt. John Vandivere from the Explosive Ordinance School which is based on Eglin AFB. While I was there, I kept looking past the line of men and women that were graduating to the wall behind them. The EOD school is unique in that it's the only school in the military that brings all four services together to train them. It's a demanding school with a high failure (wash-out) rate. We're so proud of Jon for making it through.

The ceremony was held at the EOD memorial, and the wall held strips of brass under the seal of each service. On each strip was the name of someone who had paid the ultimate price for the love they had for their friends.  There were so many. All I could think of was that each one on that wall made decision after decision to give their life away.

EOD deals with the most wicked and dangerous weapons in the enemy's arsenal. The devices they see can be hidden, booby trapped, remote detonated, even hidden in children's toys. If as the office in command said only 6% of Americans volunteer to serve through the military, the percentage of people who then say "I'd like to run toward explosive devices when everyone runs away" must be a sliver of a percent.

The danger is obvious. The reward, less so to many. And yet the wall and the line of people of Jon's class and the ones before and after it will give testimony that some do get it.

Friend, true love always runs to the needs of others and usually regardless of the personal cost. C.S. Lewis said "To love at all is to be vulnerable..." - that is, open to be hurt. In a sense, every person who follows Jesus has to be ready to go and to give everything to see others rescued by Christ's love. Love is action. Following Jesus is to go where He leads and just so you'll know, it isn't always to the easy places with "nice" people.

What have you risked for the love of Jesus and His love for all the world?

Pray about that. Then Do Something!

And Jon...

Our prayers go with you as you serve our Lord and our nation. Godspeed, brother.

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