No Greater Love

By CH (CPT) Spencer Haygood, Command Chaplain:

CH Haygood

CH (CPT) Spencer Haygood, Command Chaplain

Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:12–13). When Jesus calls us to love as he has loved us, that’s not a call to some milquetoast, Pee Wee Herman, dandified sort of religious soirée! The Christian faith really is a warrior’s faith, a faith for fighters and soldiers! C. S. Lewis once said: “Enemy-occupied territory—that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.”

Now, that’s blunt and militant language, I know! But it’s exciting, it’s exhilarating, and, most importantly, it’s true! Believers are in a war against this present darkness. We’re advancing against the darkest forces of the universe, and we march with God at our lead. And all the while, all around us, on a level invisible to our mortal eyes, angels and demons and supernatural powers, good and evil, are working to defend or destroy us.

We’re standing on a battlefield where the hope of eternal life awaits the loyal soldiers. The Psalms say “blessed be the Lord, my Rock, who trains my hands for war.” The pressing question is, “Are we in this fight or not?” Lewis, again, is right when he says: “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” The only thing it cannot be is casual, bland, convenient, comfortable!

What will you do with this? What do you mean to do with what you’ve been given, with all that you’ve been blessed with through such human sacrifice as we honor on Memorial Day and such divine sacrifice as we learn about in the gospel of God? Do you remember Twila Paris singing?

 

He was 21 in 1944

He was hope, and he was courage on a lonely shore

Sent there by his mother with love beyond her tears

Just a young American who chose to rise above his fears

And as I watch Him struggle up that hill

Without a thought of turning back

I cannot help but wonder

What did he die for when he died for you and me?

Made the sacrifice so that we could all be free

I believe we will answer each to Heaven

For the way we spend a priceless liberty

Look inside and ask the question

What did he die for when he died for me?

To the darkest day in A.D. 33

Came the mercy and compassion of eternity

Sent there by a Father with love beyond his tears

Blameless One, the only Son to bear the guilt of all these years

And as I watch him struggle up that hill

Without a thought of turning back

I cannot help but wonder

What did he die for when he died for you and me?

Made the sacrifice so that we could all be free

I believe we will answer each to Heaven

For the way we spend a priceless liberty

Look inside and ask the question

What did he die for when he died for me?

 

This is the love of the hero, the love of the warrior, this is brave love, demanding love, self-sacrificing love that Jesus is talking about! I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough of casual, bland, convenient, innocuous, comfortable, boring American churchianity! I want to be at the heart of the struggle between good and evil, right and wrong, truth and error. I want to be caught up in the sweep of history. I want to give my life in the noble cause of God and truth!

What do you want to do? What will you do? Oh, fight a good fight! Finish the race! Keep the faith! Stay alert! Stand firm! Act like men! Be strong! And may the Lord make you mighty for his glory as you lay down your lives loving one another as he loved us!

Updated: June 4, 2016 — 19:38
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