Colossians 3:12-17 (NRSV)

12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13 Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord  has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ  dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.   17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.   

Ecclesiastes 11:1 (NRSV)

1 Send out your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will get it back.   

DEVOTION –  Jennifer A. Johnson (Kentucky)

One time, when I was a child, I was not picked last for a team; I wasn’t picked at all.  The team captain who was supposed to choose the last remaining player declined to choose me.  It hurt.  Really hurt.  But Cheryl, a girl on the other team, said, “Come on Jennifer.  You can be on our team.”

Twenty years later, I walked into a restaurant, and there was Cheryl.  Throughout the years I had thought of her and what she did for me that day.  She included me.  She said I was good enough.  When I saw he, I was so choked up with emotion that I could barely speak.  I thanked her for being nice to me when we were in school.  Even though she remembered my face, she didn’t remember my name or that day on the playground.  That was okay.  I did remember, and her compassion still meant a lot to me.

Ecclesiastes suggests that compassion may be returned to us.  Even small acts of kindness can make a big difference in someone else’s life.  Our compassion is the bread we send out, and maybe one day those who enjoyed that bread long ago will be able to come back and tell us that what we did made a difference.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:Our acts of kindness help to bring God’s love to others.

PRAYER: Dear God, help us to be kind in whatever we do and to notice when someone needs our help.  Amen.