Get in the Game
“Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:1-2)
Check out this recent story, out of Cleveland, Ohio, about a man who played the role of Good Samaritan to the same people eight years apart:
Christopher Manacci was driving in Auburn Township, Ohio, when he saw a van pulling a fishing boat that had a flat tire. Manacci told reporters, "I dropped my wife off and decided that I'd bring him a can of Fix-a-Flat for his tire so he could make it to a gas station."
Manacci then drove up to the immobilized van and parked on the grass with his hazard lights on. As he was approaching the two passengers—a man and his 15-year-old son—his good deed suddenly turned dangerous. A pick-up truck driven by a drunk driver smashed into the side of Manacci's car. The truck went airborne and landed just three feet from where Manacci was standing. Miraculously, no one was hurt.
After the situation calmed down, Manacci mentioned to the van driver and his son that he worked as a nurse practitioner. The van driver told Manacci that eight years earlier he had been helped by another man with the same job. The van driver said, "[While I was fishing] I had a very bad injury to my hand from a large fish hook, and this nurse practitioner kayaked up and removed the hook and helped me go on with my day."
Manacci replied, "Yes, I know that story well."
"You do?" the stranger said.
Mancinni said, "Yes, that was me."
After helping the same stranger on two different occasions, Mancinni offered this advice: "You just never know what the day brings you and you never know, you never know, what small thing you will do that will result in a miracle."
The reason Mancinni got to experience this was because he was looking. He was on alert for the chance to do something. AND he was taking advantage of opportunities. Something tells me these weren’t the only good deeds he performed in an eight year span.
This Sunday I’m going to be pointing out something that should be obvious from our theme passage but is, in fact, all too easily passed over. The key to being the light of the world and the salt of the earth is doing what Jesus calls “good deeds.” That requires us to be looking for opportunities and taking them when they come.