You ever struggled to find the right gift for somebody, because it seems as though they have everything they would want or everything they would need? Somebody that’s perfectly contented with whatever they have. It can be a struggle, maybe it’s a mother, or father, or maybe it’s a spouse, or maybe even a grown child.
Imagine what that struggle would be like then, when we wonder to ourselves how do we give something to the Lord?
What would we give to him in repayment for what he has given for us? How would the gift be big enough? What might I do? Wouldn’t it be great if I had independent wealth, so that I could give enormous amounts of money to his work. Or maybe it would work if I could be free enough in my schedule to go great distances to to be part of his work somewhere very far away. What if I could be a great communicator, so that I could be part of a great conversion like the one that happened at Pentecost.
None of these are sinister thoughts, but they are misguided. They kind of miss the point. Jesus didn’t live and die and rise again so that you or I could spend our lives trying to match his gift, or even or even raise it. Rather he sets us free to look at service to him in very lowly, very ordinary ways.
When Jesus pictures his own coming into paradise with him they can’t figure it out for the life of them why. When they wonder out loud why they would be coming in, when they served him, he says simply this:
Whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. —Matthew 25:40
Jesus living and his dying and his rising again were all to rescue you from the big gift giving. The kind that would try to match or even raise his.
Instead he sets us free with his life and his death to simply live where he has put us.
So go shovel the walk and make sure the FedEx delivery man doesn’t slip. Make a meal, a simple meal, an easy meal for your family. Change a diaper. And in all of these ordinary simple ways, you can know that you are living freely the life that God has given back to you in the work of Jesus his son.
Believe it for Jesus sake, amen.