Today’s Reading: John 16:26-27 (NIV)
26 [Jesus said,] “In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.”
Radical gifts of hospitality can happen just when you least expect it. Have you ever received a special present, and it’s not even your birthday? At a class I attended yesterday, every participant there received a goody bag filled with candy and a little plastic container of Play-Doh®! How I love playing with Play-Doh®! I could tell this was going to be a great day!
We were asked to take the Play-Doh® and create a personal symbol of faith. You should have seen the artwork displayed on the table at the end of the class. There were several intricate roses, a cross, and a beautiful pitcher sitting in a basin with a towel. The creation I left was not quite as detailed as so many of the others. My Play-Doh® design was a simple thumbprint heart with a tiny cross in the middle. I made a Shepherd’s staff and placed it next to the heart.
I know that God has placed His thumbprint on my heart. In a way that only He can do, Jesus came and saved me, while I was still sinning. He loved me this much, that He would bear my sins on the cross of shame. What kind of love is this that Christ would die for me? My heart is forever changed in the light of His mercy and grace. Jesus said that the Father loves us because we love Him and believe that Jesus came from the Father. Oh, Jesus loves me, this I know! There is no greater love ever.
Has Jesus Christ captured your heart today? This morning, we celebrate the amazing gift of God’s grace as evidenced in the lives of our Pastors. Thank you, Pastors, for serving the Lord! You lead the way toward Jesus through preaching and teaching and sharing the Gospel message with us each and every day! We can see His unique thumbprint engraved upon your hearts. It is the Father's "new birth" day present given to all who believe. This is a radical gift of hospitality.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
© Copyright 2008, Deb Spaulding
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