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Listen while you read: "Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah"1 (Lyrics)
Philippians 2:3-4 – Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. (NLT)
Across from our house is a park that has a couple of ponds in it. When they built the park, they brought some ducks and geese to make their home around the ponds. Now there are not many ducks, but a lot of geese. They love to come into our yard to have lunch or supper. They like to eat our grass. They also love to eat the berries that fall off the dogwood trees, and they love the crabapples.
The geese will sit in a circle around the crabapple tree. Then one of them will get up, stretch his long neck, grab a limb and shake it so that more crabapples fall to the ground. Then they all get up and start eating. When they are all eaten, they will go back to the circle and wait for another goose to get up and grab another limb. The goose that shakes the limb won't get much to eat, but they do take their turns so that all can eat.
Paul wrote in today's Scripture passage that this is what we need to do as Christians. We should not forget about ourselves but do more for others. This goes further than what Jesus taught when He said, "Do to others as you would like them to do to you" (Luke 6:31 NLT). Paul is saying to do more for others than you would have them do for you.
Prayer: Our Provider, we praise You. We thank You for all Your many blessings. Please forgive us when we become selfish and don't think of others. Help us to follow the teachings of Your Son Jesus Christ to do to others as we would have them do to us. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.
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Thank you Dean. A great illustration!
The visual provided of the geese beneath the crabapple tree is potent. However, it is the reference to the so-called “Golden Rule” which shook my memory.
At a recent storytelling workshop, one of the leaders shared that he has a trilogy of stories on that very base: second story is “Do not to others what you would not have done to you”; third story is “Do unto others what they would have you do unto them.”
Thanks for starting my day with this rich blessing.