Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come. But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Romans 5:14-15 (NIV)
Because I have a “guvmunt” job, I had today off work. What a treat! A day to do as I like even if some of it involved chores. I woke at the luxurious hour of eight o’clock and by 8:15 had the kiln up and running to fuse a wind chime shaped like a killer whale and a purple iridescent dish. I made a lot of dishes for Christmas gifts, but kept none for myself. This one will go in my bathroom as a place to drop my earrings and rings at the end of the day. Once I started the kiln, the horses got their late breakfast and then, I moved them up front by the house for some better grass. I spent an hour or more struggling with the checkbook. Just a few days before Christmas, I overspent. I managed to hold out and be wise about money until the very end, but a hundred dollar bill given to me by my in-laws got spent five times. I would buy something and think, “This is what I will buy with the hundred dollars,” then, would see something different and buy it too. Unfortunately, I am not Jesus and cannot multiply things like He did the five loaves and two fishes so that money had to come from somewhere else. After sweating over it, I ended up transferring money out of savings into checking. Then, I did laundry, made two pound cakes, swept and mopped the floors, cleaned out the refrigerator, went to Wal-Mart to buy youngest son some pants for EMT school, bought grain at the feed store, and came home to cut more glass. I prepped three more wind chimes, a woven square out of blue and green translucent glass, a multicolored heart and an iridescent purple and green fish. I visited with a friend and youngest son’s girlfriend who came over and put a second load in the kiln. I fixed two suppers, one for youngest son’s girlfriend who is a vegetarian, and one for the rest of us. After supper, I did dishes, changed the sheets on the bed, and folded laundry. Now, I can start the week with a clean house and empty laundry baskets. Today was a gift that I did not earn. My ancestors did not spend hundreds of years in slavery or discrimination. I did not participate in sit ins or protests to guarantee civil rights to all regardless of color. I did not give my life to ensure others could be free as did Martin Luther King nor can I say that I have spent my life in service to my country. Even if I am a government worker, I earn a fair wage to do something I love. No, I did not earn this holiday, but I did enjoy it. There is another gift that I did not earn. I deserve death, but by grace, a gift freely given, you and I can have eternal life instead.