Good morning! I hope this email finds your day off to a good start! Our devotional writer for today is none other than Mary Ellen Milam. In addition to being a dear friend, Mary Ellen is also the Associate Director of Campus Recreation here at TCU, and is undoubtedly known to many of you. I think it’s probably impossible to have met Mary Ellen and not remember her – she makes an impression that lasts! Outgoing, energetic, engaging, inviting, kind, with a fantastic sense of humor – she quickly became one of my favorite people. She really is an amazing person, and I’m so glad I have her in my life. Plus she’ll let me talk her into almost anything if I provide her with enough chocolate. J And yes – I definitely owe her some serious chocolate for this favor! I’ve never known Mary Ellen to shy away from a challenge, so I knew she would say yes to writing a devotional even though it might be a tad outside her comfort zone. I knew she would do a fantastic job, and she didn’t disappoint. Her message for us today is heartfelt, and I’m grateful for her willingness to share it. Upon reading it I immediately felt compelled to act, which is always the sign of a great message. I have no doubt that you’ll be impacted by her words for us today, and I challenge you to act upon them in a way that feels right to you. Blessings on your journey, my friend…
March 3, 2016 By: Mary Ellen Milam
Matthew 25: 35-40 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
The Lenten season is a time of renewal, reflection and a rededication to living a life of sacrifice and giving. When I think about Lent, it always takes me back to one of my favorite childhood memories. On the Sunday prior to Ash Wednesday, the church I attended gave out little cardboard boxes that we put together in the shape of a house. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, we would decide on an item that we would give up for Lent but rather than focus on our own sacrifice, the idea was to take what we would normally spend on that item and put it in the box. It was a way to think, not of ourselves, but of others. On Easter Sunday, we would then bring our box or boxes, and lay them on the altar. The church would then use the funds collected to help those who came to the church throughout the year seeking assistance.
This memory always reminds me of how each individual sacrifice, no matter how small, can make a big difference in the lives of others. That, rather than focusing inward and dwelling on what we don’t have, we can look outward to those in need. That through giving we ultimately receive the greatest gift.
Thank you for the reminder that, while we may see ourselves as sacrificing for others, that you gave the ultimate sacrificial gift to us by giving us your Son. Help us, Lord, to follow His example in putting others first, tending to those in need and focusing not on what we don’t have but rather on the blessings you bestow upon us daily.