The marketplace is always buzzing with activity. It can push us to feel hurried and anxious. It can tempt us to start setting priorities in line with its prevailing values of profit and loss. With these pressures, especially in the past year, we could let them dictate our current priorities.
This is a week to stop and reflect. It is known as Holy Week or Passion Week, a remembering of the last week of Jesus’ life; the suffering, and the sacrifice that He endured. Jesus’ sacrifice was made so that all who believe can have their sins atoned for and to be reconciled to God.
Today is Maundy Thursday. Maundy means “commandment”. On that Thursday, at the last supper with his twelve disciples, Jesus gives a new command. In John 13:34, He says this: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” This is the commandment to which Maundy Thursday is calling us.
The interesting thing about this statement is that the command to love one another is not new. Leviticus 19:19 calls us to love our neighbor. For fifteen hundred years prior to Jesus coming, Israelites understood they should love each other. Jesus confirmed this is the second greatest command in the law, to love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:25-28).
So what is new? The new part of this command is, “just as I have loved you, so love one another”. Jesus gives us a visible demonstration of the extent of love as he lays down his life for the disciples. It is a new and more extensive demonstration of what the love of God looks like, the love which we are called by faith to imitate. It is the very sacrifice of Jesus which changes us so that we can live this way – to love each other even through sacrifice and sometimes death.
This is the 40th anniversary of YBL. That is a marker of God’s faithfulness to men who committed to reaching others in the marketplace with the hope of Jesus. We celebrate this anniversary. We also know that 40 has been a number that marked great trials in the Bible—in the life of Moses, Israel, and Jesus’ own life. In a season that has been so intense, with pressures so great, what we need more than ever is to follow Jesus. We need to follow His command to love others in the marketplace. As we do so we reflect on our God whose love is greater than every other force active in the world. This is the love that transforms us and will transform our work so that we can keep this great commandment to love others the way Jesus did.
May God bless your Holy Week and your Easter!
From Rob Genin & Young Business Leaders of Birmingham