By Dr. Bascom Ratliff
Pastor, Parker/Beagle/Fontana United Methodist Churches
I was visiting with a fellow grandparent, Georgia, the other day. Georgia told me a story about a conflict with her granddaughter. It seems her granddaughter had lied about a financial problem in an effort to secure a loan from her grandmother under false pretenses. The granddaughter said that she had lost part of her college tuition and was at risk for being kicked out of college unless she came up with the money to pay the fees.
Georgia told me that because she loved and trusted her granddaughter, she wrote her a check to cover the needed college fees. Later she discovered that her granddaughter had lied about losing the money. She confronted her granddaughter, who proceeded to yell and accuse her of being selfish and uncaring.
I asked Georgia how this has affected her love and relationship with her granddaughter. She told me that she was hurt by the deceit and name-calling. However, he said that she loved and cared for her granddaughter and had forgiven her. She quoted from Matthew 7: 9-12, where Jesus asked the question, “if your child asked for bread will you give them a stone? Or, if they ask for a fish, will you give them a snake?"
No, of course not said Georgia, we will give them food.
Georgia explained that she often perceives herself as a child in the eyes of God. She knows that God forgives her and is tolerant of her shortcomings and misdeeds. Her prayer is that she has the same tolerance for her grandchildren and believes that she would literally do almost anything for her grandchildren. She further believes that her attitude about doing for others comes from her relationship with a loving and forgiving God.
"Despite my frustration and difficulties of my granddaughter," Georgia explains, "I honestly believe that I would give my life to save her. When faced with that dilemma, I might change my mind, but I hope not. My granddaughter is important to me, as are all of my grandchildren. I always want the best for her."
Georgia's story reminds us of God's great unfailing love for us. It also reminds us of Jesus and how God sent Jesus so that anyone who believes in him should have eternal life. During this Holy Week, we celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus, in all his glory and suffering, is proof that God is a loving and caring God.
This week and in the weeks ahead, I challenge you to renew and strengthen your relationship with a loving God. As we celebrate the Lord's supper and the resurrection of Christ, let's do so with enthusiastic and thankful hearts.
If you want to hear more about God’s wonderful promise of unfailing love and enjoy a great morning of music and worship, please come and worship with us.
We will worship at the Parker United Methodist Church during April 2023.
We will worship at the Beagle UMC during May 2023.
We will worship at the Fontana UMC during June 2023.
All services are at 10 a.m.
We serve communion on the first Sunday of each month. All are welcome.