A word from Williams Road: For the love of God

Published 6:52 am Sunday, January 15, 2017

Lucy Richardson moved to a house near the state capitol building in Frankfort, Kentucky. Lucy’s elderly neighbors got her interested in gardening, and soon she had a yard full of beautiful flowers. She enjoyed seeing passing tourists peek through the fence to see all the blooms.
To maintain the gardens, Lucy often found herself working outside from sunup to sundown.  She enjoyed being outdoors, though, and she especially enjoyed seeing the pleasure her flowers brought to others. She sometimes delighted a stranger by picking a bouquet and handing it across the fence. She even gave flowers to street people, common in her urban neighborhood.
Early one morning, Lucy was working next to the sidewalk when a homeless man who was a regular in the area passed by. Normally, he just shuffled by, but on this morning he stopped and spoke. “Excuse me, lady,” he said. “May I tell you something?”
“Sure,” Lucy replied, expecting a compliment on her flowers.
Instead, he said, “Whoever owns that house works you way too hard!”
Lucy found that amusing. The gentleman didn’t understand that she was working hard, not from a sense of duty, but out of love. To Lucy, working in her gardens was not a chore, but a privilege.
So it is with church involvement. To many passing by, and even to many members, church attendance and service seems to be a great chore. They wonder why the owner of the house works his staff so hard. Far too many steer clear of church because they fear being drafted into service.
Some understand, though. Serving God is not forced labor. It’s not just duty. It’s a labor of love.
Jesus told a story of two borrowers. “Two men owed money to a certain moneylender,” he said. “One owed him five hundred denarii (think $40,000), and the other fifty ($4000). Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” (Luke 7:41-42).
The correct answer is: the one with the greatest amount forgiven. The more we comprehend the great debt from which God releases us, the more we see serving him as an honor.
How does your garden grow? Is it a dreaded duty or something you love to do?

A Word from Williams Road is provided by the Williams Road Church.