One Year Bible - April 2
Scriptures to read:
Today is the last of our Daily Devotionals, and my how I will miss this! We started this devotional as an attempt to keep our church rooted in God’s word, encouraged to persevere through the challenges of COVID, and to give everyone opportunities to love and serve the people around them. It has been a fantastic reminder of not only the depth of God’s Word, but also the many voices and stories that make up our church. We have had over 80 people write for the Daily throughout this year, and I feel humbled and honored to have learned about God from all of them.
Yesterday, one of my sisters in LA Facetimed me to show me two of the smallest creatures I have ever seen. She and my other sister agreed to foster for an animal rescue shelter and two six-day-old, eight ounce puppies had just been dropped off on their doorstep. As I watched her bottle feed a little blond chihuahua curled up on her chest, I thought multiple things at one time. First, that puppy is adorable and I want to hold it. Second, I would not want to be inconvenienced every four hours to feed him.
Matthew 25:31-46 is a sobering passage about being inconvenienced for those in need. At the end of all things, Jesus says we will be separated based on how we were willing to be inconvenienced. The mark of growing in our love for and devotion to Jesus is our ability to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of others. When confronting both the “sheep” and the “goats” in this passage, both groups were unaware of opportunities they had taken and overlooked for others. The “sheep” didn’t recognize how they had cared for Jesus by caring for people on the outskirts. And the “goats” didn’t recognize how they hadn’t.
While caring for abandoned puppies is certainly a worthy cause, I wonder what humans I have in my midst that I treat with the same hesitation as the puppies. I have a “I am glad someone is doing that, but I am also glad it is not me” mentality when people are hard or situations are messy. But at the end of all things, what good will that have done? As I pursue Jesus, I want my heart to overflow with care and compassion for people – not because they’re easy or because I am trying really hard, but because I recognize that I also am needy before my loving God. And he died in my place on Good Friday so I would have all that I need.
As the world around us continues to open, and the effects of 2020 linger in our air and our relationships, my prayer for us as a church is that we would look at the people who inconvenience us and we grow in our willingness to sacrifice.