My friend, may I ask you a question? Does it seem that life is an endless parade of choices? We choose to eat; we choose to fast. We choose to work; we choose to play? We choose to help; we choose to hinder? Does Christian freedom gives us permission to act one way or the other?
Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
Many years ago I was attending church when I saw something that I will never forget. The choir, sitting in the front of the congregation, had just risen to sing an anthem. That's when a young lady left her spot in the soprano section and walked across the front of the church, past the pulpit and sat down in a pew near the front of the church. She seated her- self next to another young lady, obviously a close friend, who was crying. She didn't try going out of the back of the choir loft and sneak around through the back of the church. She just walked right in front the choir, pastor and the entire congregation because her friend was hurting. I can still remember the stunned silence of the entire congregation as they focused on this act of selfless caring. No sermon the pastor could have preached after that could have said more about sin and grace than a simple act of love and caring.
Here's a story: As morning broke on December 14, 1862, the battlefield at Fredericksburg, Virginia revealed a ghastly landscape. More than 8,000 Union soldiers lay dead or dying before a stone, wall where the Confederate Army had entrenched itself. The cries of the dying for help and water were chilling. Nineteen-year-old Sergeant Richard Kirkland of the Second South Carolina Brigade, had seen and heard enough. The South Carolinian jumped over the wall and immediately exposed himself to the fire of every Yankee in that sector. Kirkland walked calmly toward the Union lines until he reached the nearest wounded soldier. Kneeling, he took off his canteen and gently lifted the enemy soldier's head to give him a long, deep drink of refreshing cold water. Then he placed a knapsack under the head of his enemy and moved on to the next. Racing against the lengthening shadows of a short, somber December afternoon, he returned again and again to the lines where comrades handed him full canteens. Troops on both sides who had watched this unselfish act paid young Kirkland the supreme tribute – not a standing ovation, but respectful awed silence. (Peter Kennedy, Copyright 2006)
Life is an endless parade of choices. We choose to eat; we choose to fast. We choose to work; we choose to play. We choose to help; we choose to hinder. Christian freedom gives us permission to act one, way or the other. The problem isn't in the choosing but the choice. Choosing to care, putting all thoughts of what might or could happen to us, is a choice among many. It's what that young lady in the choir did. It's what that brave confederate soldier did. Frankly, when they chose to take the risk, the rest was a piece of cake. Choosing to care opens the door to love and compassion. When we walk through that sweet, sweet door, risk becomes a mission and fear becomes hope; nothing else really matters.
We pray. Heavenly Father, Jesus, You are the author and originator of love. We only know love because You are love and You loved us first. You love us specifically and sacrificially. You love us in our sin and rebellion against You. You love us despite the pain we inflict on others. You love us in our mess. It is that love - that selfless, self-sacrificing love, which allows us to love others. It is an overflow of Your love for us that allows us to love other people. Jesus, we ask You to make us better lovers of one another, even our enemies. We ask this in Jesus name. Amen.
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<email@example.com> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.