I am leading the Awana council time for almost 100 3rd-6th graders for the month of December. Many are not “churched,” but come out faithfully for a night of games, quoting verses, singing and a Bible lesson. It has caused me to soak in the message and intent of the Christmas story from the angle of kids, knowing that I face those very kids at school. The same “to do” list I give them is for me and we somehow hold each other accountable.
One of the things that has captured me this week has been something I’ve not paid attention to before: that it was the goodness and kindness of God that led to sending Jesus to earth for us. Check out some of the verses:
Titus 3:4 “When the goodness and kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us”
Ephesians 2:7 “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the Heavenly realms in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”
2 Peter 1:3 “He called us by His own glory and goodness.”
Hosea 11:4 “I led them with cords of kindness with the bands of love and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bend down to them and fed them.”
I’m reading Kisses From Katie, about the young woman who left an affluent home to be in Uganda after high school because the more she delved into the truths of Scripture (at the age of 12 and 13) she began to realize that God wanted more from her and she wanted more of Him. Katie Davis, the young woman, adopted dozens of orphaned children. She talks about bending low to sweep crumbs, to wipe vomit, to cook a big pot of stew, to fold endless laundry and at the end of the day, she bends next to the bed and asks only that she could bend more, bend lower.
Because we serve a Savior who, in goodness and kindness, bent down to us. He entered through Mary’s birth canal, was greeted by field dirtied shepherds, and willingly took on the form of a humble servant. God bent low on the earth that we might attain all the glory of Heaven.
So we are to do likewise. To “love our enemies and do good, expecting nothing in return, and our reward will be great and we will be Sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.” Luke 6:35
Acts 10:38 tells us that “God anointed Jesus with the power of the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good.”
Titus 3:8 admonishes us to be careful to devote ourselves to good works and 3:14 tells us we need to learn to do good so we can be fruitful.
So, in kindness (the good intent to help people) and goodness (the actual act) I be like Jesus and bend as He did,
- to listen to others and to ask them about themselves and not talk about me
- to lead with a servant leadership that does not lord power over people, but shares it with them
- to hug kids (at the risk of lice), calling them by name and knowing them individually, along with their families
- to pray that God would direct my steps, lead me in the Spirit to intercede for those in my sphere of living
- to give to those who can’t give back, who aren’t grateful, who don’t work and are maybe even evil
- to be in an obscure place faithfully and joyfully serving God
- to be alert for opportunities to show goodness and kindness, meeting the ordinary needs of people in any way possible
Because the goodness and kindness of God my Savior appeared and saved me.