Devotional Written by: Dawn Spragg
John 13: 34-35 (NLT)
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
“Human love can be strong, but the love of the heavenly Father is stronger still. It is a seal that is seen in two nail-pierced hands.” NLT Devotional Bible; June 30th
In 2013, the Boston Red Sox played the Detroit Tigers for the American League Pennant and a chance to play in the World Series. The series was decided in game six in Boston’s historic Fenway Park. At the beginning of the seventh inning and after a rousing rendition of Sweet Caroline, the Red Sox were behind by one run. That deficit changed when Shane Victorino, who came to the plate with just 2 hits for 23 at-bats for the series, hit a grand-slam home-run over the Green Monster (the nickname for the giant left field wall at Fenway) and put the Red Sox ahead 5-2. The lead remained, and the Red Sox went on to the World Series which they won against the St. Louis Cardinals.
In the moment Victorino hit the ball and it became clear it was going out of the field of play, every hand in the stadium went straight in the air. Okay, not every hand. The hands of the Tiger fans clasped unbelieving heads and faces as they sat down in complete disappointment. Red Sox fans, hands in the air, high fived and grabbed hands with complete strangers while jumping up and down with pure joy and excitement. While I am not a Red Sox fan at any other time, I was all in at that moment, holding hands with the people around me.
I am always amazed at how excited or deeply disappointed fans can be at sporting events.
My heart longs to be and live with that same enthusiasm as a disciple of Jesus. Life is a series of celebrations and disappointments and requires a deep faith to carry us through. When the news is good, we reach our hands to heaven and give thanks to God. When despair comes our way, we collapse our heads and our broken hearts into our praying hands and ask God to carry us through. We clasp our hands together when we’re winning and offer a hand of comfort to others when life offers a losing season.
As you work together, side-by-side and hand-in-hand, as you use your hands to provide for others or clasp them together in prayer, be reminded of the love God offers you by the sacrificed life of his son Jesus. Let Him hold you in the palm of his hands.
WHEN DID GOD HOLD YOU IN THE PALM OF HIS HANDS TODAY?
God of grace and provision, thank you for the nail scarred hands of Jesus that remind me of your willingness to sacrifice for me. May I always be willing to sacrifice in some small way so others might know they are loved by you. With thanksgiving and joy I pray it is so. Amen.