Matthew 5:16 - (Jesus said) "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."
In 1967 Aretha Franklin sang about respect and how she wanted some. I guess most of us hope to receive respect and a great many of us are disappointed when we don't get it. Maybe that's because most of us are better at getting respect than we are at giving it.
Of course, I wouldn't want you to say that to Shimar Davis, Shimon Davis, Edward James, Brandon Burton, Quindon Burris, Stacy Ard, James Bickham, Avant Money, Malachi Martin, and Kalarrian Dillong of Franklinton, Louisiana.
Let me tell you their story.
It begins with the funeral procession of Velma Kay Crowe. In that cortege of cars were two sisters, Lynn Bienvenu and Johanna Stroud. They were mourning the death of cousin Velma. As the vehicles wended their way to the cemetery, they passed by a school's basketball court: a court occupied by the young people I mentioned above.
The sisters spotted the players just about the same time the players recognized the funeral procession.
What happened next is where that respect comes into play.
The player who had the ball put it down. Then he, along with all the others out on the court, stopped and knelt down until the procession had passed. This they all did without an adult barking orders or some coach telling them what to do.
It was just a group of young people showing respect for someone they didn't know.
The sisters in the procession paused their car for just a second, snapped a picture, and then went to the cemetery. After the funeral, they posted the picture on Facebook and told how the gesture of the teenagers had meant a great deal to their entire family.
The photo went viral and soon many others were adding their voices to applaud these teens.
Now at this point our devotion can go many different ways. We could talk about showing respect at a funeral; we could talk about how many people don't show respect, or we could even speak of how we ought to say thank you when somebody does something right.
I'm not going to talk about any of those things.
Instead, I would like to point out that life is composed of many small, almost inconsequential, actions and expressions. Like these young folks, we never know how what we do and say is going to affect others; we never know how the Lord can use the seemingly trivial to touch and move others.
In short, being a Christian is a full-time job.
It is a job we believers take seriously, knowing the life of gratitude we live to honor our Savior may be used by the Spirit to touch people we don't know and reach people whom we will never meet.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may we not only respect the Savior for winning our salvation, may we also respect Him enough to live so others might be won for You. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Jennifer Earl for Fox News on April 24, 2018. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/04/23/louisiana-teens-stop-basketball-game-kneel-out-honor-for-passing-funeral-procession.html
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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