REFLECTIONS: When we are bumped, what do we spill?

A friend and I were recently talking before church when she suddenly looked down and exclaimed, “I bumped my coffee and I was afraid I spilled it!” Sometimes that happens, but I began to wonder what we spill when we are bumped? What bumps did Jesus experience from birth to resurrection and what did he spill?

While in heaven, Jesus was bumped by our need for a Savior and he chose to spill his perfect life and relationship with God his father to take on human form. “And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:8)

While walking this earth he was bumped by every temptation we face and he spilled empathy. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:25)

He was bumped by people who loved him or wanted something from him. “Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat.” (Mark 3:20) Yet he cared for those in need. “As he went ashore he saw a great throng; and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” (Matthew 14:14)

He was also bumped by legalistic Pharisees, questioning Sadducees and self-absorbed people. Some were his chosen followers who would ultimately betray him. In spite of this, Jesus loved them and spilled tenderness. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37)

As Jesus’ life drew to a close he was bumped by betrayal, false accusations, leather whips, a cross and a crown of thorns. Yet he lovingly spilled it all. He spilled his love blood through the times of torture. He also spilled salvation and compassion as he forgave the thief on the cross and looked after the needs of his mother. (John 19 reviews these Good Friday events)

What do we learn from what Jesus spilled? Do we respond in thankfulness that leads us to seek relationship with him? If Jesus could leave perfection in heaven to come to imperfection on earth and suffer an excruciating death because he loves us, we should take Him seriously. We have no other options. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

Finally, when we are bumped in life, what do we spill? Has Jesus filled us enough so that we spill love, compassion, caring, forgiveness and grace? Or, do we respond with agitation, frustration, entitlement and body language that says anything but love? The next time a bump comes our way let us be the people God wants us to be. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, cloth yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. “ (Colossians 3:12-14)

Helen McCormack and her husband, David, are members of Wycliffe Bible Translators and serve from their home in Minot.

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