Can a simple cup of water change the course of a person’s life?
Jesus seems to think so.
In Mark 9:41 Jesus says the following to his apostle John: “For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.”
One of the lessons we can glean from this response is that even a simple act of kindness that is inspired by a person’s recognition of and/or reverence for Christ is meaningful. But how meaningful? And does it really “count”? Isn’t an offer of water too ordinary and too small to matter?
Sometimes I wonder those things too – and then I have a day like Thursday.
Last Thursday a man walked into our church building who had never been here before. He was walking by our building and, on a whim, decided to come in and ask if we had a bus or van that gave people rides to our worship services. He spoke to one of our secretaries, who noticed that he seemed to be a little winded from his walk. So, she asked if he would like some water. He said yes.
This man was a very pleasant gentleman, and he and our secretary engaged in a lengthy conversation. When he was ready to head home, our secretary offered him a ride, then recruited me to drive him home. On the drive to his house, this man spoke glowingly about our secretary and how nice she had been to him. Then he said this…
“Preacher, I’ve been to several different churches in this town and yours is the first one to offer me a bottle of water. Some people don’t think that’s a big deal, but it’s a big deal to me because it tells me something about the people in the church. I will be coming to your church, and when you see me you’ll know that it was because that nice lady gave me some water.”
When I got on the stage to deliver my sermon on Sunday morning, guess who I saw in the audience with a big smile on his face?