Colossians 3:12, 17
Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him.
While I was serving as the pastor of a small church situated on a major highway, a young couple stopped in to worship with us. When we asked visitors to stand, it was obvious they were visiting; as this was an all African American congregation and they were not. They stood and told us they had left New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and were temporarily in Memphis with family.
The congregation immediately wanted to do something for this couple who had witnessed the horrors of death and destruction, loss and grief. Almost immediately, the congregation wanted us to stop and offer special prayers; and then we asked for a special offering. The offering taken up was almost equal to the regular Sunday offering. The people gave generously and sacrificially.
They didn’t stop to look up a scripture to see what the Bible said about welcoming a stranger or being kind and giving to those who are not able to repay you. They gave because God had already transformed their hearts and filled them with a spirit of tenderhearted mercy and kindness. They didn’t have to read it; they knew how to live it.
When the offering was presented to the couple, with tears flowing down their cheeks, they said, “We are here with family, and we are OK. Please give this to someone who has nothing.”
Loving God, let your Word live inside of us so that we respond with gentleness and tenderhearted mercy as a way of life. Have patience with us and forgive us when we fall short. In the name of Christ we pray. AMEN.
The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Davis
McKendree District Superintendent, Memphis Conference