Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Monday, November 29 - Sacrificial Love

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

“To boldly go where no man has gone before…”

If you know anything about the phrase above, you know it comes from a TV series that premiered in the 1960s. If you didn’t watch it live, you certainly have seen it in reruns. “Star Trek” was a cultural phenomenon then and has been ever since.

What is it about this show that so impressed all of us and made it memorable? No, it wasn’t the amazing alien makeup, the elaborate computerized sets (for that time period), or the special effects. It was the spirit of hope and camaraderie amongst the crew and its leaders — to take the spirit of man to unimaginable limits, to promote the values of dignity amongst species, and to show the universe that we could live together in dignity and peace.

Everyone on that ship got along (or so the screenwriters portrayed), and the best example of that is the relationship between Spock, the Vulcan science officer, and his human crew mates, Captain James T. Kirk and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Leonard McCoy. In an effort to make Spock more “human,” countless jokes and some frustration was involved in getting Spock to understand humans.

In my opinion, this was reached finally in the conclusion of the movie “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” when an impending megaton nuclear explosion threatens the USS Enterprise from a nearby exploding planet. The engines were not working to get them out of the blast zone in time before the ship and all aboard would be vaporized. Spock realizes someone had to go into the warp drive engine room and repair the highly radioactive device to escape. Dr. McCoy tries to stop him, but Spock immobilizes him with a Vulcan nerve pinch, enters the room, and repairs the drive. (Now) Admiral Kirk comes onto the scene, and finds Spock slumped against the thick transparent wall, dying from radiation sickness.

In the last words exchanged between the two, Kirk says, “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. You have been, and always shall be, my friend.” Spock dies, and he is mourned by his devastated crew members once out of range of the blast.

When the actor William Shatner, who played Captain/Admiral Kirk, went into space just recently, NASA sent him a message reiterating the fateful words of Spock out of their commitment to “Star Trek” and its hope in space for humanity: “…You are, and always shall be, our friend.”

As we continue our journey amongst the stars, fueled by courage and by God’s promises, may we all love each other. We need to remember that love “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:7). Don’t give up. Love each other. Trust in God. Reach for the stars. Remember Who sent you on your way.

The sacrifice that Spock showed was admirable, but greatest sacrifice ever, the greatest act of love ever seen was done by Jesus. He loved us so much that He left His throne in Heaven, became flesh and blood, dwelt among us, and performed miracles and wonders while here on earth. But even more than that, He died for us. Jesus — innocently beaten, mocked and scorned — hung on a cross at Calvary. He did this to be an atonement for our sins, a Heavenly sacrifice so that we can share in His glory and riches.

But we know this wasn’t the end of the story. Jesus didn’t stay on that cross or in that grave. He rose from the grave, defeating sin and death!

Mary Nuckols

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