This article first appeared in newsletter of The Historic Church of the Epiphany
Recently, Jenny and I were walking in downtown Charleston enjoying a beautiful spring day. As we are walking, she saw a car key on the ground. She picked up the key and asked those around if this was their car key. No one claimed it. The car key was marked as a Subaru. So, I suggested to Jenny that we walk down the street and see if we could spot a Subaru. As we were walking down the street a little way, she spotted a Subaru across the street. She then push the alarm button on the key. Surprisingly, the alarm went off. So, at this point, we had at least identified the car. We crossed over the street to the vehicle. We were still not sure what to do. We found the car but no owner. So, I called the police to get some information on how to deal with this situation. As I was on the phone there was a woman coming to the car trying to open it up. We noticed she was frantic and filled with anxiety. At that moment Jenny assured her we had found her key. She was relieved and very grateful. She had shared with us that her father had just passed away and that she borrowed this car from her sister. She offered us money; we declined the offer. I told her that this was a God moment, and we were blessed to be a blessing to her.
I am not sharing this event to boast about our “good deed.” Indeed, I am fully aware of how Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for this type of thing. I am only sharing it because often we do not realize that the Lord wants us to be proactive in being instruments of his goodness. In his providence, he may very well be guiding you to find opportunities to do good and he will even bring those opportunities your way. I have no doubt that the Lord had “set us up” in a good way to bless this person.
But it was not just this person that received a blessing. We were truly blessed to be a blessing to someone else. We were blessed that the Lord used us so we could meet this need for a person who was going through a difficult time in her life. It is our hope and prayer that through this ordeal she will open herself up to the Lord.
We know we are not saved by our good deeds. “For it is by Grace that you have been saved through faith, this is not from yourself, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” Eph. 2:8-9. But though we are not saved by good works, we are also not saved without them. For Eph. 2:10 goes on to say, “For we are workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
It may take some time and even some sacrifice to do good. But that is what we are called to do as Christians. During this season of Lent, we must even be more cognizant of doing good to others. It is not that God himself needs these good works. But it is your neighbor, relative, and yes even the stranger that needs it. That is why he wants us to be his instrument of his goodness. As we move closer to Good Friday, we should contemplate his all-encompassing sacrifice for us. Let us show our thanks to our Lord for all he has done for us, by being a blessing to others.
by the Rev. Peter, Levasseur, Rector, The Historic Church of the Epiphany, Eutawville