Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Saturday, March 6

By Steve Roberts, March 5, 2017

Help Who You Can

Read: Proverbs 1:8-9

Like many fathers, mine shared with me the wisdom of his life hoping it would influence my life. While a natural story teller, or parables in ecumenical terms, the ones I remember were not parables but aphorisms – short, catchy phrases that are easy to remember. I hate to think how many I’ve forgotten; I’m certain the few I remember are the wisest and the ones I’m sure he would have chosen for me to remember. I am also certain that they are his creations and not transgenerational tradition. “You give what you have and you help who you can,” and “Put one foot in front of the other, and if you can’t do that, stand still” immediately come to mind. But the one that seems to be the most thematically theological is “if you have to choose who to save, save the first one you come to.”

I have thought about “save the first one you come to” some over the years but only in the past two or three have I realized that I have heard the same message all of my life. It is the heart of every parable Jesus told, the heart of our faith. He did not decide who was most worthy or had the greatest need. He had no priority list, no minimum qualifications. He “took” everyone. As my father told me, so He told us, “you save the first one you come to.”


Creator God, guide us to give what we have and help who we can, right where we are. Amen.

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