Good day friends! I pray your week and weekend went well!
Readings for Apr. 5, 2020; Palm Sunday
Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 118:19-29 or 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; John 12:12-43
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very natureof a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5-8
Back in the ’90s, there was a stretch of time where it was difficult to make ends meet financially. I was home with our young children – in fact I believe I was pregnant with our youngest child at the time – trying to bring in some income as a home day care provider, and Rick was working hard as an auto mechanic with a dealership that kept reducing hours. Funds were slim. Expenses were plenty.
One particular evening, in the midst of this trying time, we received a knock at our door from a couple from our church. Looking back, they were probably the same age Rick and I are now- mid-fifties. After a few niceties, they proceeded to hand us an envelope with the words, “it may not be much, but we do hope it will help with a couple expenses.” Inside the envelope was a cheque for one hundred dollars. We were so thankful. I cannot express how deeply that gesture touched our hearts and the money helped with the bills that month. However, along with the cheque, came these words, “We do not want you to pay us the money back. However, down the road when things get better, we would like you to pay it forward, if you wish. Someone helped us out many years ago and asked us to pay it forward. So as we pay it forward to you, we only ask that you pay it forward to another in need.”
Well over the years, that $100 has been extended to others multiple times. That initial act of love shown to us decades ago continues to be fresh in our hearts, and with thankful hearts we continue to extend the same practical love to others in our life’s path. It is with this ‘practical love’ and the desire to pay it forward that I think of the above passage. As Christ hands us a cheque for salvation, with love and compassion, mercy and grace, we can cash that cheque for our own life eternal and reap his benefits. But then we need to continue to share those benefits with others. For just as Paul says to us, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) Therefore, may we live each day in the thankfulness for all that Christ has paid on our behalf and go pay it forward to all those we meet.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank-you for the sacrifice that you made on my behalf. Thank-you for continuing to extend your love, faithfulness, and forgiveness to me each and every day. Help me to pay such blessings forward. In your name alone I pray. AMEN!