Do you remember the name Victoria Soto?
Here's a reminder, from her Wikipedia entry:
On December 14, 2012, Soto was teaching her first grade class at Sandy Hook Elementary School when Adam Lanza forced his way into the school and began to shoot staff and students. After killing fifteen students and two teachers in the first classroom, Lanza entered Soto's classroom. Soto had hidden several children in a closet, and when Lanza entered her classroom, she told him that the children were in the auditorium. When several children ran from their hiding places, Lanza began shooting the students. Soto was shot after she "threw herself in front of her first grade students."She was a true teacher. Not a hired hand.
If she lived out the beautiful expression "my life for yours" when bullets were flying around the room, how much more do you think she lived it out when preparing her lessons?
Consider this passage from John 10, to see how Jesus contrasts the true shepherd with the hired hand:
John 10 - "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd."
What's your vocation? What's your calling? What's the ordinary work that the Father has given you to do?
Are you a true custodian? A true shepherd? A true doctor? A true truck driver? A true engineer? A true teacher? A true mom? A true librarian? A true physical therapist? A true restaurant server? A true minister? A true carpenter? A true law enforcement officer? A true office clerk? A true computer programmer? A true screen writer? A true hotel manager? A true husband? A true student?
Or are you living as merely a hired hand?
My life for yours.
This is what living "in step with the truth of the gospel" (as Paul says in Galatians 2) looks like. My life for yours.
"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends."
~Jesus of Nazareth
Also to be considered here... how does this shape what it looks like to be a true church?