How can Jesus’ love and friendship restore our relationships with one another?
Jesus teaches his disciples in this passage about abiding in God’s love through the keeping of the commandments. He then highlights the command that we should, “Love each other as I have loved you.” To illustrate this love he refers to the ultimate sacrifice of laying down one’s own life for one’s friends. An apparent reference to his own crucifixion and sacrifice for his disciples. Jesus’ command is reinforced through repetition in the final verse, “This is my command: Love each other.”
What does it mean for you to follow Jesus’ demonstration of sacrificial love in your friendships?
Humans are created for relationships. The ultimate relationship being one with God. The love we experience from God is reflected in how we relate to God’s creation and with one another. Where there are broken relationships, we can draw on Jesus’ example of sacrificial love to restore our relationships.
CBM’s international partners often support the creation of self-help groups (SHGs) to work towards empowerment of people with disability. Self-help groups have a range of benefits including bringing people together at the most local level for social support.
An evaluation of a project in Aceh, Indonesia, implemented with support from the Australian Government through the Australian Government NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP), highlighted the way in which these groups can lead to restorative relationships and transformed communities.
“The beneficiaries have now realised the power they have within themselves to motivate them to actively make changes in their lives, “We are nothing if we lost our spirit” (kalau patah semangat, kita enggak ada apa-apa). However, the exchange of knowledge, experience, emotions, personal stories, etc. among community members were mentioned more than anything else.
Women with disability said they had the joy of attending the SHG’s gatherings. They could not wait until the next SHG gathering which always made them happy when seeing each other, exchanging thoughts that widened their horizons, and at the same time relieving them from stress.
The shared values among women beneficiaries motivated young men to join SHGs in Aceh Besar, “We love joining SHG because having the warmth of mothers from over 40 years old women who often give positive advice while building strong solidarity and determination to do something good for the community.”
“The spirit of empowering each other was felt strongly among SHG members”.
Join CBM’s Prayer Partners and pray with us:
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
We pray for people with and without disabilities,
May they find social supports and restorative relationships,
Forming genuinely loving communities,
Where everyone is empowered to live life to the fullest.
Bible Passage – John 15:9-17
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.”