Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Cover charge

Today’s Reading: John 10:27-30 (NIV)

27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

Good morning!

One of the many anticipated moments of summer was our family’s annual pilgrimage to the city amusement park. Rachel, Benjamin and David couldn’t wait for the big excursion each year. We counted the days until it was warm enough to ride the water rides in the hot summer sun. Jeff and I would pick a perfect Saturday and make the long-awaited announcement at our family breakfast table. For children who had to be prodded to get dressed and out the door each day, we never had a problem getting ready for this excursion. Rachel and David loved to ride the roller coaster. You couldn’t bribe Ben, Jeff or I to get on those rides – we were just as happy watching them wail from the park bench below. Our mouths watered all spring for the sugary cotton candy that melted in your mouth and the thick chewy pretzels that were awaiting us at the snack stand. It was an exhilarating, exhausting, and precious time spent together; a moment I will cherish forever.

At the entrance to the park, we would pay a cover charge just to get inside the gate. Each new season would bring exciting new rides to explore, and subsequently, the cost of admission would significantly increase. There were times when Jeff and I wondered if this might be our last year to return together as a family to the park. We continued to save our pennies every winter, hoping we would have enough to go just one more time. Even though the cost was steep, the sacrifice was worth it just to see the joy on the faces of our children. They laughed and played together, experiencing the wonder of the unique and the thrill of surprise.

The people were wondering about the teacher from Nazareth. Was He the gatekeeper, the promised Messiah to come? When they asked Jesus to tell them plainly, He said, “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” Christ came to pay the cover charge for our sin, so that every believer might one day receive admission into the Father’s house. He paid an incredible price, making the ultimate sacrifice of love, so that we could journey through the gate, experiencing the joy and wonder of God’s indescribable love. We are all His children, and He delights in our eternal happiness. There is nothing Jesus wouldn’t do to bring you into relationship with Him. Your cover charge has been paid in full. Will you accept Christ’s gift of new life? Ask Him to be your Lord and Savior today.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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