As I walked into Walmart on Saturday evening of March 26, a Caucasian lady about my age stopped me and said, “Do you want some free rotisserie chicken?” She didn’t wait for my answer. “They are giving away free chicken and there’s only a few left so I thought to let you know so you can get one.”
Now, this was unexpected because Walmart store didn’t have to give anything for free; and it was welcome news to my ears – not just because we love chicken where I come from – but also it was a rare chance. I don’t know about you but never have I, in my life, walked into a supermarket and received a whole chicken for free!
In my excitement, charity amnesia took over and I forgot to thank the good lady who had delivered the good news. “Oops!” telling my daughter, Kayla who was with me, “How could I not say thanks? That’s unbecoming of me.” Upon turning around, the lady had already disappeared. “Well, I guess we’ll just spread it along.” The bearer of good news to the next person, that’s what I had decided to become.
Whether it was the aroma or instinct leading, I can’t quite tell, but with a considerable increased walking speed, we arrived a table arrayed with “lemon pepper chicken” and “traditional chicken” – steaming hot!
Trying to tame the thrill, this was me: “What’s going on here?”
The young man managing the section answered, “Free chicken. Just pick and go.” And then he added, “One per customer.”
Needless to say, Kayla must have been a little embarrassed when, after picking up my bird, I went stopping every shopper I met with a broad smile. “Would you like some free chicken?” Not exactly pausing for a response, I’d quickly point them to the source, “They’re giving it over there.”
As you can tell from the date, this occurred over Easter weekend. A time which is so significant to the Christian faith because we commemorate the death and resurrection of Christ. We celebrate the atonement of Jesus Christ, without which we would have no hope. This event is the hinge on which Christianity hangs – without it Christianity falls. Christianity devoid of the death and resurrection of Jesus becomes as powerless as any other faith.
Easter reminds us that because of the death and resurrection of Christ, God demonstrated that Jesus is Lord and Christ.
Had Jesus Christ just died and been buried, then He would have been just like any other mortal man. But His resurrection speaks a different story. His bleeding to death was a guarantee that the resurrection would happen and God made a public declaration of it.
God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it…Therefore … be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, … crucified, both Lord and Messiah. – Acts 2:32,36 NIV
The Good News
Although they say that bad news travels fast like a wildfire and good news travels slowly, there is no guarantee that bad news will always get around faster than good news. That Saturday evening the good news of free rotisserie chicken giveaway had wings – it traveled fast. Everyone was either sharing the news or receiving it.
This made me think of 4 things:
Without reducing it to chicken which is placed on a table and disappears after a few minutes, salvation is free and it is eternal. You have a choice to receive or reject it. None of us is too good that we don’t need it or too bad that we can’t receive it. If truth be told, we can’t live a full life here on earth and we can’t make it to heaven either – without it. This very costly gift is God’s free gift to us and our only responsibility is to receive it by faith (John 1:12; 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9).
As Christians, we are empowered to evangelize or spread the good news. Together with having the right to celebrate Easter, we have been given power to take on the sacred commission of spreading the gospel throughout the world. Pointing people heavenward. This is what Jesus said to the eleven after appearing to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15). Had He not resurrected, we would never have had any power to evangelize. We are His witnesses because His power has come on us to preach “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8)
3. Needs and Wants
Not only does God meet our needs but He meets our wants also. The truth is this: I didn’t need the free chicken as at that particular moment, but when the subject came up, oh, I wanted it and promptly changed the dinner menu. It dawned on me, in a new perspective, that God fulfills the desires of every living thing (Psalm 145:16) and satisfies us with good things (Psalm 103:5) – and this includes our wants as well. What a gracious God!
4. Do Likewise
In The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), Jesus teaches on neighborliness and says, “Go and do likewise.” I had received something for free – it made me smile (more like giggle with joy), surely as a Christian, I have a responsibility to be a blessing to someone else and put a smile on their face.
Whenever God gives you “extras”, it is not so that you can amass – it is so that you can share. The small rotisserie chicken may not be enough to share with your neighbors, but you can open your hand to someone else – especially those in need and help provide for their needs. God tells us that the poor will always be around and commands us to be openhanded toward them (Deuteronomy 15:11).
Over to you. Is there a time when someone (a stranger) did something nice for you (for free) and you decided to spread the cheer? Maybe you can start a fire. Think about ways you can be a blessing to others.