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Thursday, 10 May 2012

Of bread and mince pies!

This afternoon, I visited one of "my" Police Stations - to discover that major refurbishment work has started, and that a lot of the car-park is out of action.  It was obvious that, with one shift about to start work, and another one not due to finish for a couple of hours, there was not going to be a space for me!

I drove around for a few minutes, but was unable to find a place to park legally!  However, next door to the Police Station is the Fire Station!  It just happened that, when delivering mince pies and Ginger Cordial to my on-duty officers on Christmas morning, I noticed two appliances outside the Fire Station, with a number of Fire Officers in attendance.  I decided to stop and, without any ulterior motive, gave them a couple of boxes of mince pies!  They were very grateful and, I have now discovered, informed the police accordingly!

Anyway, I had noticed that there seemed to be adequate parking space behind the Fire Station so, having parked carefully, and set up the little notice that identifies me, and provides my mobile 'phone number, I went to the front office and asked if I could leave my car there for an hour or so!  There was no problem!  Parking situation solved!

In the book of Ecclesiastes, in the Old Testament, we read "Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days." (11:1; RSV).  That may be interpreted as saying that whatever one does comes back to one!  As my late Granny would have put it, "What goes around, comes around!"  Of course, she would also have pointed out that we give, not to get, but simply for the joy of giving.  Giving to get, she would have insisted, is not giving at all - it's bargaining, or investing!

Paul reminded the Ephesian elders of an otherwise unrecorded saying of the Lord Jesus: "In all things I have shown you that by so toiling one must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how He said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" (Acts 20:35;RSV); while Matthew records these words of the Saviour: "Give as freely as you have received! " (Matt 10:8; NLT).  And, of course, in the greatest example of selfless giving, we have the words of John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. (RSV).

I suppose that, if I were to paraphrase those words in Ecclesiastes from a personal perspective I might, after today, write "cast your mince pies upon the waters for, after many days, you will receive a parking spot."!  However, the important thing is that we give, freely.  In that way, we may emulate the Father Who is in heaven.

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