BY REV. MARTIN LUCIN - GRACE LUTHERAN CHURCH
There was an item in a magazine not too long ago about a man named Patrick Connelly, a devoted fan of country star and TV celebrity Blake Shelton: Connelly attended a Blake Shelton concert in Overland Park, Kansas, but all he could see was a sea of people because he uses a wheel chair.
Amazingly and without being asked, two strangers lifted Connelly up on their shoulders and held him there long enough for the differently-abled man to watch his hero perform. That's kindness.
The Bible places no limits on our kindness: Exodus 23:5 requires the children of Israel not to oppress strangers — with the reminder that they were once strangers themselves, and in Matthew 5:44 Jesus goes even farther than that: "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
We are called to pour out acts of love and generosity even, no, especially toward those identified as undeserving. For Christians this is particularly significant because we believe that God poured out acts of love on us when we were undeserving.
Kindness for any believer is a "square one" issue — a basic place to start! Sometimes it goes unrecognized or is even unappreciated, but that is OK because we obey Jesus! Kindness is the first order of business for any and every follower of Jesus.
Someone once asked, if you were given a dollar for every kind word or deed that you said or did, and then had to give back fifty cents for every unkind word or deed, would you be rich or poor? Think about it – we are to love kindness!
Or as we like to say: "Grace: It's for me, it's for you, it's for everyone.