"There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends." (Jesus)
(John Chapter 15, verse 13)
When we love and lay down our lives for our friends we are pleasing and glorifying God in the ultimate way. This is exactly what Jesus did for us. He loved us so much he was willing to give away his life for his friends.
Recently, there was a beautiful example of this sacrificial love in the streets of Egypt. As protesters and angry crowds collided with each other in outrage over the dictatorship of Mubarak, a group of Egyptian Coptic Christians peacefully displayed a beautiful circle of love. They joined hands with each other and formed a circle of protection around Muslims so they could perform their Friday prayers. This was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Amidst the violence, anger and outrage, a group of Christians were willing to lay down their lives so that their Muslim friends could be protected.
This is a perfect picture, a beautiful image of what Jesus wants us to do here in America. In my upcoming book, "Tears in a bottle: Seeing through their eyes," Esther travels from Tehran to New York City for a new life of freedom and prosperity. Instead she faces hatred and discrimination during a bitter controversy over the building of a mosque near the site of where the World trade center once stood.
One day while walking in Central Park, Esther meets Ariel, who is busy painting next to the Bethesda fountains. Ariel is a wealthy widow who recently lost her husband in Afghanistan. She is also a Christian who loves life and enjoys being outdoors flying kites and painting. That day, Esther and Ariel become friends and its the beginning of a sacrificial-love relationship. Ariel is there to comfort and protect Esther from an abusive relationship with her husband by providing her with a circle of love and protection.
Like Ariel, are we willing as Christians to stand up for our Muslim friends? Are we willing to stand between them and the angry, hateful people who constantly criticize and ridicule them with the terrorist label?