“. . .And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b
Overflowing landfills across the country tell us that we live in a world where things are disposable. If it’s broken or old, get rid of it. If there’s a newer model, get rid of the old.
Most things may be disposable, but people should never be. That’s the way I thought things were until I read an article from Time, which told the story of a Chinese girl who left school to become a professional athlete. At the age of 13, she was assured that her country’s sports organization would take care of her the rest of her life. With that kind of security, she worked hard and managed to win some national championships.
The girl kept her end of the bargain, but when she retired in 1993, she found out her government wasn’t going to do the same. After working three years at some menial jobs in the team’s kitchen, she was asked to leave. Without any education, she ended up working at a host of poor paying jobs. She carried sacks at a construction site. She sold lamb-kabobs on the street, and she gave massages. The last job paid $60.00 a month.
According to an interview one of the coaches gave to the Beijing News, the girl is not alone. He said, “(her) national medals are worthless. There are world champions who end up jobless after retirement.” Indeed, the article told of one woman who won the Beijing International Marathon and was selling her medals so she could feed her family.
No cereal box covers for these folks.
They are disposable.
As I look at the Savior’s earthly ministry, I can never think of a time when He thought anybody was worthless or disposable. The Gospels tell of how He restored those who were possessed by devils and healed those whose leprous bodies had made them outcasts of society. Jesus lovingly spoke with foreigners, ate with tax collectors, and reached out to the most despicable of sinners.
To Jesus, no one is without value, including you and me. Jesus gave His life as the supreme sacrifice, which saves us from our sin because He loves us. Because Jesus cares for us, He completed the Father’s work of redemption that has rescued us. Because Jesus loves us we are forgiven and adopted into God’s family of grace.
Because He loves us, His words are true: “I am with you always.” That’s the kind of life-long love we need.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, we give thanks for saving us and staying with us. May we never forget what You have done and continue to do. In Your Name, Amen.