Daily Word of Grace # 25: April 20, 2020

When I was a preteen in Northern Virginia there was a World War II veteran at our church. He was affectionately known as Maj-none of us knew his actual name. Every Sunday after church there was an open invitation for any middle school and high school students to eat to at the all-you-can-eat buffet at Shakey’s Pizza in Annandale, and Maj paid for everything. You could eat as much pizza and pasta as you wanted, drink as many sodas as you wanted, eat as many desserts as you wanted-all while you cut up with your friends-and Maj paid for it all, every dime, including generous tips of the unfortunate staff working that day. While we ate and horsed around with our friends, Maj would circulate among the tables and ask us how we were doing, how school was going, how he could pray for us-and Maj always remembered our names. As if that were not enough, Maj would always thank us for coming to lunch and encourage us to return the following week, “Bring a friend,” he would laugh, “Bring all your friends.” In his Letter to Philemon the Apostle Paul pleaded for Philemon to take back his runaway servant Onesimus, whom Paul had led to Christ. But Paul did not stop there, he added, “If he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand: I will repay it” (Philemon 18-19). On Good Friday Jesus, whom we have all wronged in every way and to whom we owe everything, charged all of it all to his account, written with the blood of his pierced hands on the cross. Jesus paid for everything, and even now invites us to return each week…and bring all our friends.

Love and Prayers,