Years ago there was a fellow living in Rincon who passed away. The family members wanted to prepare adequately for the funeral, but they didn’t have much money.
So one of them went to a neighbor’s house and asked the lady of the house if he could borrow a clean white shirt from the man of the house.
The man of the house told his wife, "Sure, I’ve got one clean white shirt; it’s the one I got married in. They can borrow it. Don’t forget the cuff links."
So she got her husband’s shirt, including the cuff links, and loaned it to the fellow.
A few days later, one of the family members saw the man who had loaned the shirt and said, "I sure do want to thank you for letting us borrow your shirt. Daddy sure looked good in it, lying in that coffin."
That’s when the man realized he would never get his shirt back. Apparently, if his shirt was good enough for marrying, it was good enough for burying.
This story illustrates that some types of giving require more of a commitment than other types of giving. You can give some things, like a birthday gift, and expect to receive a birthday gift in the future (or at least another invitation to the next birthday party).
But then there are some gifts that can cost "the shirt off your back," like the gift that God gave.
John 3:16 describes such a gift. It says, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." God’s gift meant the death of His Son Jesus so that we could live. It was a gift good enough for burying.
I can’t repay God for this gift. But because God loved me that much, it makes me want to follow Jesus no matter what.
It makes me want to give Him the shirt off my back.
(Copyright 2012 by Bob Rogers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Read this column each Friday in the Herald. Visit my blog at www.bobrogers.me.)