Sometimes there are stories in the news that stand out in such an extraordinary way that you can’t help but pass them on. Today was one of those days.
This morning, CBC London reported the story of Jim Brown and his act of charity to many hospital-goers. For months, Brown made many trips to Victoria Hospital to serve his father who was there for cancer treatments. Day after day, Brown paid the $12 parking fee.
Eighteen months after his dad passed away, Brown wanted to help the people he’d seen waiting at the cancer clinic. The Aylmer resident, along with his friend Barry Acheson (who is currently battling cancer himself), raised money by growing big beards during Movember, took the money raised back to Victoria Hospital and paid for $2000 worth of parking for those who were coming for treatments.
The story is moving for several reasons. First, this act of kindness, though in small amounts for most people ($12), was surprising. Nothing was expected in return, and people didn’t know what to do with this act of kindness. Second, the generosity came from someone who understood how regular parking fees can add up for people during an expensive time of year. Third, his generosity was to remember his father.
This is the time of year where we hear great stories of radical generosity. For Christians, Paul tells us that we should be zealous for good works because we have said no to ungodly ways and have received the radically generous grace of God:
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
(Titus 2:11-14, ESV)
Brown’s story is inspirational and should cause Christians to think long and hard about the grace of God that we have received. How can we be radically generous? In a world where people give to get, can we give for the sake of giving? Can we give simply because we have received so much grace from God? Can we remember our Father who gave His one and only Son for us and our salvation?
But there is one thing that we don’t want to fail to do: Tell people why we act generously. We don’t have to have a long sermon or try and highlight our good deed. One sentence can help you to cause people to wonder about the goodness of God:
“God has shown me so much grace and kindness by forgiving me and loving me in Jesus that I want to share that with you.”
Simple. Short. Gospel-focused.
Would you think about how you could be zealous for good works to share the generous grace of God with others through word and deed? Would you be passionate to let your light shine in word and deed – not just at Christmastime, but in 2019?
Thankful for God’s radically generous grace,
Missional Action Plan: What is one thing that you and your family could do in January to open up doors to tell people the simple sentence above?
Missional Action Prayer: Lord, would you make me zealous for good works so that I might tell of your forgiveness and love that you have abundantly given me by your grace? Amen.
As we gather for Sunday worship, we want you to meet with God and be transformed by the Word. Prepare your heart by reading the passage and listening to the songs for Sunday.