Scripture: Matthew 23:25-28; Romans 3:28, 8:4, 10:3; Galatians 3:6, 1 John 2:3-6, 5:1-3.
This past week they "moved the bus" in a small town in East Texas. Previously church members had submitted the name of one of their families-in-need to the television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.1
A faulty electrical system in the Carr’s modest three-bedroom house was a high fire risk. The one working bathroom was inaccessible to two of the four adopted, special needs children, ages 3, 6, 8, and 9. The plumbing system leaked and the septic tank backed up.
To complicate matters further, Mr. Carr, age 41, had major health issues resulting from multiple organ transplants.
Mrs. Carr, age 37, was a woman of faith.
When Mrs. Carr learned that her church had submitted their name to the show and that they were one of five families to be interviewed by the show’s producers, she turned the possibility of her family being chosen over to the Lord. On February 25 the show’s host, Ty Pennington, knocked on the Carr’s front door.
During the week the Carr’s new home was being constructed, hundreds of volunteers from the community took part in various aspects of the construction. The community rallied all together to supply the nails, boards and new furniture. In addition the community food and blood banks set up stations. The food bank collected thousands of pounds food and the blood bank 178 pints of blood.
During a news conference this past Friday, the family received a $66,000 donation from the community to pay off their mortgage. Ford donated a new car. They also received three years worth of meat and a year of free lawn service.
While the show won’t air until May 9 on ABC, the impact showed the community what could be accomplished when everyone works together. Their intent is to keep the momentum of this shared experience going.
Our Bible study this week on the Fruit of the Sprit that is Righteousness cannot be compared in every way to the gifts that the Carr family received. There are, however, some similarities.
When the limo took the family to the airplane for their flight to Hawaii they became utterly dependent upon a television crew. They had to have faith not only that they would be returned in one week to East Texas but also that the crew would do what they said would happen while they were gone. The Christian walk is a walk of faith. This is especially true of Christ’s free gift of salvation. We must be totally dependent upon Someone other than our self.
The Carrs could not have done for themselves what the entire community and a reality TV show did for them. Neither can we obtain righteousness ourselves.
The gifts the Carr’s received from their community were unearned. In the same way the gift of grace that is the righteousness of Christ offered to us is not something we’ve earned.
The Carr family could have refused their gifts and said they didn’t want people to destroy their home. They had to release all they had both inside and outside their old home knowing that in the end they would receive something a whole lot better. By the same token when we surrender our entire will to the will of the Holy Spirit and accept the free gift of Christ’s righteousness our life becomes a whole lot better.
The whole process is, as Mrs. Carr told reporters at their news conference, “Phenomenal”.