I recall shoveling snow with a church member at the church in the Baltimore area where I served before coming to Green Tree. We were shoveling away when two teenagers came along and offered to help. At first we declined their invitation because we felt the two of us could handle the job and we didn’t want to feel obligated to pay them. Our thought was that we would save the church some money instead of paying them for something we could easily do. But the two teenagers did not go away and they insisted they didn’t want any money. They simply wanted to help. The boys worked hard. They did a very good job and they did it free of charge.
Free of charge. Not many things are free these days. As we move into the Season of Lent this month (Easter and Lent are early this year), we remember that Jesus paid a significant price as he went to the cross. Going to the cross was not free for Jesus. He sacrificed his life in doing so. But because of his sacrifice, grace and salvation are available to us free of charge. They are available simply for the asking.
Lent is a time to remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, and it is a time to contemplate the sacrifices that God is calling us to make as we follow in the footsteps of Christ. But the sacrifices that we make as disciples and followers of Christ do not bring about salvation and grace. Salvation and grace cost Jesus his life, yet they cost us nothing. As we make our way toward Easter, we become mindful of the fact that Jesus died for us so that his grace and God’s salvation would indeed be free of charge.