Bring a box of Matchbox cars someone gave you at T&T.
I’m very glad to see you today. I want to share with you something that happened here at the church yesterday. We had our big Trash and Treasure sale. We fill the entire place full of toys, housewares, plates, clothing – basically everything – and then in one day, sell as much as we can. People start showing up at 6:30 in the morning, lining up to get in. It’s pretty amazing if you’ve never had a chance to see it.
So I was there yesterday morning, preparing our welcome tent. It’s a place in front of the line where we serve coffee, water, and take prayer requests for people waiting to go to the sale. So as the line was filling up, and we were busy getting ready for the sale, and right when the doors were about to open – a car drives up to me. And a guy gets out. And he’s carrying a big box – much bigger than this one. He dropped it at my feet. He looked me in the face, he said “here’s a bunch of things for your sale!” and then he jumped into his car and…drove away. Before I could even understand what he was doing, he was already gone and I was left with this big box – at my feet.
Now, imagine for a moment, you were me in that moment. I’m busy trying to get everything ready for the hundreds of people coming to the church – because we want to treat them well. The last time someone was supposed to bring things to the sale was two days ago – so this guy was obviously breaking the rules. And before I could even respond, he was off! How would you feel?
What do you think were different ways I could have responded?
I could have said “hey! Wait a minute!” and explained we didn’t have time to go through the stuff in the box or price it or get it to the right place so someone would buy it. And that would have been okay to do. I could have said “nope!” and been a time firm and stern about it because we were here, at the church till 11 pm the night before, trying to get everything ready. And I could have ignored the box – just left it there – and hope someone else take it so I don’t have to worry about it. Or just wait until the end of the sale, and toss it into the dumpster. All of those options – would have been right because that person didn’t follow the rules, assumed that I could just take them, and decided to make his problem – his box full of things – my problem without even asking. He put me in a tough spot where I didn’t even have time to think.
So I didn’t think. I instead chose to act in the most loving way possible. And I opened the box.
Open the box. Show the cars inside.
It was a box full of matchbox cars! So I put them outside, and gave them away free, knowing that these cars would bring someone joy.
In our story about Jesus today, Jesus is going to tell his followers that they should, when they can, always love. There will be times when we get caught in an unexpected moment or someone will make their problem our problem or that will be stressed out and overwhelmed and we won’t know what to do – and so when that happens – you know what we do? We do what Jesus asks us to always do – love. When we’re stressed out, we love. When we’re angry, we love. When we’re scared, we make sure to love ourselves and others if we can. We always just love – because when we love, we do what Jesus does for us each and every day – he loves us – always!
Thank you for being here and I hope you have a blessed week.
Each week, I share a reflection for all children of God. The written manuscript serves as a springboard for what I do. This is from Christ Lutheran Church’s Worship on the 6th Sunday of Easter, 5/6/2018.