Luke 7:47 (NKJV)
We had accomplished our goal of arriving even before the amusement park opened. With giddy anticipation we stood in line waiting for our opportunity to push through the waist level turn style. Carefully plotting out our agenda we decided to conquer the big roller coasters first and then head to the smaller less sought after rides.
Passing time by people-watching, I soaked up the crowd we waited with. This die-hard motley crew came in all shapes, sizes and walks of life. The smell of coconut scented sunscreen mixed with sweat filled the air. Crying children offered an appetizer of what we would be graced with throughout the day. Probably in no other venue would such a slice of society exist.
The clock struck the appointed hour and all at once clusters of people began instinctively moving forward. I was surprised when, over the loudspeaker which had previously only offered pre-recorded service announcements, a beautiful rendition of our National Anthem began to blare. It took a few bars of the familiar tune for everyone to realize what was going on.
The parking-lot sized flag waving proudly at the entrance of the park required that we turn 180 degrees to give it our full attention. A hush fell over the crowd interrupted only by the scattered here and there voices of the bold.
For some, this interruption of agenda only served as an irritation. Not bothering to change their stance they continued to focus on their cell phones, Ipods or friends only adjusting the volume of their conversations. Some, it was clear, adopted the appropriate stance because they knew that that was what society required and they were not so bold as to break ranks. There were those for whom there was a recognition of the importance of the demonstration of their loyalty however, even for them it was an action which was offered more from head knowledge than motivations of the heart.
And then there were the few. Spotted throughout the masses, they were the quickest to remove their ball caps and place their hand over their heart. It was easy to see that it was not only grey hair and skin folds these individuals had in common. With sincerity and determination worthy of a battlefield, these men offered this anthem of anthems with every bit of honor and valor it deserved. Clearly these men, at some point in their lives, had given much to their country.
Those who have given much…love much.
In the book of Luke we are invited to a dinner party with an uninvited guest. A woman, a sinner, one who loved Jesus wholeheartedly and poured her love upon Him with her perfume mixed with tears. Her anthem of love for her Savior was sung loud and strong through her brazen and unbridled actions.
I understand the way that woman loved. I know the depth of gratitude that accompanies a heart which has been set free from the prison of guilt and condemnation. The true revelation of the gift of grace, when it comes in its fullness, is overwhelming. It produces a passion to serve and honor not out of obligation, but instead out of desire to give back some small portion of that which has been given.
Our anthem is our life. Our Savior is to whom we sing. There are some who refuse to sing. Others, like they don’t know the words and some because they are afraid not to. And then there are those who with boldness sing with a conviction that can only be earned through untainted understanding.
Those who have been forgiven much….love much.
Father, always let the anthem of my life be sung proudly for you.