Matthew 5:45b: He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
It’s been a wonderful summer for growing plants in Tennessee this year. We’ve had plenty of rain and no droughts. It’s a welcome change from what we usually experience and the whole place around Knoxville looks greener than I’ve ever seen it. It also means that I’ve got to mow the lawn more often, but I don’t mind it. It’s nice to see the green grass instead of the usual burned out brown straw that covers my lawn at this time of year.
I also heard someone say the other day that ‘if a person can’t grow tomatoes this year, then they can’t grow them at all.’ It makes me wish that I had planted some at the beginning of the year. Knowing me, if I try to grow them next year, there will be a drought!
I like what Jesus has to say about the sun shining and the rain falling on both the righteous and unrighteous. He’s reminding all of us that God has no favorites and that through His mercy, He showers blessings upon people whether or not they deserve them. We tend to be more judgmental and critical, but Christ is telling us that for grace to be grace, is has to be applied where it is least expected. In other words, God gives every opportunity for souls and spirits to grow under His care. I guess that means that if we cannot grow spiritually under the goodness of His grace, then we cannot grow our souls at all.
Therefore, let’s try to find opportunities of applying God’s grace with the people we meet today. Let’s do it where it’s least expected and totally undeserved. In doing so, we may rediscover the joy of God’s grace that we also don’t deserve.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, Your words challenge our ways. You show us how God operates graciously in the world. Help us to find opportunities to witness to that great gift and the ability to share it with others. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, please send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.