WE really appreciate it and remember when someone goes out of their way to help us, even at cost to themselves.
On a recent radio programme, a midwife told the story of how, during her training, she hadthroughclumsy driving, caused significant harm to a neighbour’s wall and to her own car. She was very apologetic but also devastated, because she didn’t know how she would find the money to repair the car and thought she might have to give up her course.
When her generous neighbours realised this, they wrote a cheque to her, even although it was really she who owed them money for the wall!
The midwife went on to complete her training and to help thousands of women give birth, but she has never forgotten the kindness of her neighbours.
We can all think of people who have made sacrifices for us and are enormously grateful to them.
Special occasions like Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, anniversaries, birthdays and other celebrations give us opportunities to express our appreciation .
I would like to suggest the period of Lent leading up to Easter gives us a very important opportunity to think about what Jesus has done for us and to really appreciate the sacrifice he made as he died on the cross for us.
There can be no doubt that Jesus’ journey to the cross was very difficult and lonely for him.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was deeply distressed and even prays asking God to ‘remove this cup from me, yet not what I want, but what you want’.
He is then betrayed by Judas, abandoned by the other disciples, condemned by religious leaders and handed over to the Roman authorities, beaten by the soldiers and put on the cross to face horrific suffering, supported only by his mother and a few followers.
He then dies, carrying the burden of the sins and guilt of humankind, and feeling forsaken by God his Father. And he went though all of this for us – so that we can know God loves us, we can be forgiven, and so we can have the wonderful hope of life beyond death.
His love and courage, his death and resurrection offer us hope, peace, forgiveness and comfort.
We don’t forget the kindness and help we receive from families or friends, or from compassionate strangers and caring neighbours. So let’s make time this Lent and Easter to think about and appreciate all that Jesus has done for us.
And let’s make time to celebrate God’s love for us.