🌺 We remember…. – Olu Jegede

cccadmin Devotional

Flanders Fields, Belgium is the site of the inadvertent mass grave yard where many Canadians gave their lives for their country and fellow humanity in defense against Germany, the former Prussian empire.  It is quite a moving sight, as you see countless amounts of white crosses symbolizing every soul that died in the war efforts.  In these fields poppies grow seasonally, their colour stark red, shining magnificently, and serving as a chilling reminder that blood upon blood was shed for the freedom of humanity

For, thanks to these soldiers, and countless others from the nations of the world, lives that were spared, in this war symbolize the many wars past that men have had to fight to bring peace to their loved ones.  This peace, a blessing from God, should never be taken lightly.  That is why every year on November 11, many countries all over the world (including the United States, Canada and Israel) mark this fateful day which was the day the armistice agreement was signed and the 1st world war ended.  This annual commemoration, lets us remember the legacy left by forefathers gone ahead.

Thousands of years earlier, another commemorative event was to be initiated in the death of our Lord.  Hours prior to his sacrificial death, Jesus gathered his disciples in the upper room, sharing some parting words.  For shortly thereafter he would be nailed to a cross, and his blood spilt red will serve to remind his followers that the sacrifice made for them was very costly.  He died for them, that they might make peace with God, their sins forgiven, and eternity of bliss was promised to them, the violent wrath of God’s judgement forever satisfied.

Though these parting words pose a seemingly dismal scene, yet Jesus was all too happy to go through with it.  This is because he realized that his friends, whom he had known for less than 48 months, were now family charged with the responsibility to carry on the message that he had embodied.  This is seen in his words to them in John 15.

John 15 

12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 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. 16 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. 

In his parting words, he called them friends, describing the love that true friends ought to have for one another.  This kind of love was to be sacrificial in that they should be ready to lay down their life for each other just as he would lay down his life for them.  Likewise, Jesus would expect them to lay down their lives for him as well, and we know most of the disciples died a martyr’s death as they passed on holding staunchly to the gospel they believed in.  

As friends, however, they were not only called to love like Jesus did, they were called to leave a legacy.  This legacy would be to bear fruit, lasting fruit.  It’s significant that the fruit is determined to be lasting. See the thing about fruit is that they perish.  Poppies perish as well, and so does every living organism on the face of the earth.  Yet Jesus challenges them to bear the kind of fruit that will never perish, what could he be talking about.

This is because he was asking them, and us today, to live as a true disciple, and leave a legacy of a disciple.  To live as a true disciple would mean to internalize the transformative words of Jesus in our everyday lives.  Allowing every word he spoke to bring us to a deeper level of transformation.  Whether it be becoming more humble, or more gentle, or more patient, or more self controlled, or more kind, or more joyful.  To be a true disciple means to look like Christ.  These kinds of qualities show one to truly be Christ like, and therein we prove our love for him.

Remembering the words of St. Francis of Assisi, preach the gospel always, and when necessary use words.

Are you preaching the gospel with your life?  Can those around you tell that you are a true believer? How about our spouses, our children, our bosses, and direct reports? How are you becoming more like Christ?

As we do this, we give ourselves a platform to be seen, and then to share the gospel with others, and thus fulfilling the other aspect of being a friend of Christ, not only loving like he did but bearing fruit so others would come to know him, and thus making his death on the cross worth it.

As we celebrate remembrance day, let us also remember what our Lord has done for us, and let us continue his work by embodying the task of being a disciple who makes disciples.

– Pastor Olu Jegede