Some years ago, a ten-year old boy named Johnny was sitting alone on a park bench one afternoon. It was a beautiful spring day and Johnny was watching some other kids play baseball. An older man happened by, saw Johnny sitting there, and sat down beside him. They entered into conversation. They talked about the gorgeous weather, sports, their families. Finally, the older man said, “Johnny, I want to ask you a question. If you had three wishes, what would you wish for?” Johnny thought for a moment and then said, “First, I would wish for peace and happiness in the world. Second, I would wish everybody would join a church. And third, I would wish that my best friend Billy, who is blind, would be able to see. That’s what I would wish for.”
The older man seemed amazed by little Johnny’s answer, and with a look of perplexity he said goodbye and walked away. Johnny didn’t understand why the man was confused by the answer. He sat there for a moment, and then picked up his crutches and hobbled home! Now you know where Johnny got that gracious, loving spirit, don’t you? He got it from Jesus. He got it from the one who went to the cross for you and me. On the cross, God showed us how much he loved us and how much he wants us to love one another. Faith, hope, love – that’s what the cross is about. Whether you are receiving chemo therapy, radiation, facing the loss of a loved one, whether you are calling from Baghdad, whether you are depressed and lonely, whether you are a teenager or a child, remember – God loves you! And you are blessed to be a blessing to others.
Let us pray: Loving God, who has given us a mentor and example of living in Jesus, we pray that you will give us the courage and will to see more clearly, love more dearly, and follow more nearly the Christ, day by day. Today, may we reflect the image and spirit Jesus who was called “The one for others” because he sought to serve rather than be served. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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