Linda and Ray are traveling. She sent me a picture of a street sign with a huge Tootsie Roll at the top with the word “Shipping” underneath and a big arrow pointing right. She wrote: “Ray and I saw this sign on Cicero Ave. in Chicago on Monday and thought of you. We were on our way to Midway Airport, so we couldn’t investigate, but we assumed that a Tootsie Roll factory was right down the road.”
I looked it up. Linda was right. There is a Tootsie Roll factory in Chicago. Someday I intend to take the tour.
Tootsie Rolls are very important to me. That’s because at the end of every children’s sermon (which is my favorite part of the service) the children say a prayer and are given two Tootsie Rolls. One is for them to eat and the other is to be taken out into the congregation and given to someone they don’t know. And then the children says the most important words in the world: “God Loves You.”
The reason they give away a Tootsie Roll and say “God Loves You,” is because I want them to understand that words and belief must be wedded to action.
To say “God Loves You” to someone in a desperate situation, while not addressing their overwhelming need makes it impossible for them to actually hear that they are of sacred worth in the eyes of God.
This is why James wrote: “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:14-17)
Today, one way or another, you will have the opportunity to convey God’s love to another person. It may be nothing more than a kind word. It may mean giving of your time, talents, and money. Whatever it is, do it.
The reason you are still here and not in heaven is because God has something he wants you to do. So don’t let the opportunity to help someone pass you by. That’s why you are here.
Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, help me to see past myself to the needs of others. Use my words and actions to convey your love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
I am truly convinced that the moment we reach out to others, address their needs and let them know God loves them is the moment God smiles. So choose to bring a smile to God’s face. It is the best decision you can ever make.
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.