The word is…. lift
February 12, 2016
Ancient church mothers and fathers often greeted one another with the phrase, “Give me a word.” This greeting led to the sharing of insights and wisdom. Today we continue this tradition with this monthly column.
By Mandy Sayers
Pastor, Covenant UMC, Gaithersburg
“Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, love lifted me!”
The hymn writer uses the image of lifting to describe Jesus’ rescuing him from sin and the quagmire of life when left to his own devices. Psalm 40 talks about a God who lifted the psalmist out of the miry clay and set his feet upon a rock.
Perhaps you have known the feeling, either in your spiritual life or in your personal life, where you have needed a “hand up,” or a “lift” from where you are to where God is calling you to go. Sometimes God’s hand comes through a person who provides the lift that is needed.
It is in these spaces, where need meets love, that we see the wonder of grace, giving love we didn’t earn, lifting us when we are least able to help ourselves. When I went off to college, my parents got smarter in my eyes very quickly, as I began to see what they had done for me, the sacrifices they had made for my education and as an investment in God’s future for me. I said to Daddy one day, “I… I… will never be able to pay you back for all you have done for me.” His response was, “Oh honey, of course not. That’s not how love works. One day, your child will have that same look on her face, and you will explain to her about grace and extravagant love.”
This Lent, what is God calling you to do to show God’s extravagant love? Perhaps God is calling you into a prayer life more focused on gratitude and less on complaining. Perhaps God is calling you to “lift” someone through visiting the lonely, or feeding the hungry, or writing a note to someone who has “lifted” you.
Maybe God is calling you to “lift” someone in love through a gift to Africa University, where you will invest in someone you may have never met, but whom God knows and loves intimately.
I know very well how it feels to be able to say, “Love lifted me!” Lent is a time to share God’s gifts and love to lift others. May you observe a holy, and breathtaking, Lent.
By Daryl Williams
Pastor, St. Paul UMC, Oxon Hill
The word “lift” has always had a magical meaning for me. No matter what the context was, there was never a time that “lift” meant something bad.
As a member of the football team, a couple times a week, we would all go lift. We’d head to the gym and workout and try to get bigger and stronger in preparation for the big game. We would lift for hours trying to get better.
When we turned 16, we were all waiting for someone to get a car and then we would be able to get a lift anywhere we wanted to go. As opposed to taking the bus or the train, we’d now be able to get a lift.
You see, lifting always makes things better. No matter if it is lifting weights to increase body strength, or giving someone a life to get from a less desirable place to a more desirable one, when lifting takes place things get better.
Think of the things we try to lift. We want to lift people out of lives of poverty. We encourage people to lift their sights to higher heights. Psalm 121, one of my personal favorites, tells us, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence comes my help?” In all cases and in all things, lifting leads to better things.
The question you have to ask yourself is: What are you willing to lift in this season of life?
Maybe it is time to lift your sights. Lifting your sights allows you to begin to look for the bigger, better and greater out of life.
Maybe it is time for you to lift your spirits. Lifting your spirits gets you out of the doldrums, ends pity-parties and sets you closer to God.
Finally, maybe it is time to lift someone else. When we take the time to lift someone else we get the benefit of seeing them become closer to who God would have them to be combined with the joy of helping them to get there.
No matter if it is for you, or for someone else, its time to get or give a lift.
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