We have seen some crazy things during the coronavirus pandemic — masks, lockdowns, political posturing. To date, approximately 0.2% of the U.S. population has died of Covid-19. But we have seen nothing like the Black Death that swept through medieval Europe. Take the village of Eyam (eye-m) in the heart of Great Britain. The plague was raging across Europe. Then it came to Eyam. In the first few weeks, 42 villagers died. Others were starting to pack up to move away. But the village clergyman, William Mompesson, knew those moving away would only spread the plague to other areas. So he, with the help of others, persuaded people to stay – to quarantine in the village. By the following summer, half a dozen people were dying every day. By the end, over 30% of all villagers died. But their sacrifice for others prevented the spread of the plague to surrounding villages.*
This is an example of love. They made a choice to stay. They were concerned with the needs of others, even though it cost many of them their lives. You see, the ultimate act of love is to care for others, even if it means sacrificing yourself.
This definition of love fits exactly what God did in sending Jesus. It matches what Jesus chose by accepting the cross. This willingness to put the care of others above our own interests is the fruit God is producing in us.
*D.G. Hewitt, “10 of the Most Heroic Acts of Self Sacrifice in History,” historycollection.com, June 9, 2018, https://historycollection.com/10-of-the-most-heroic-acts-of-self-sacrifice-in-history/
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.