February 26, 2018

By Rev. Timothy Ellington, Kailua UMC, Hawaii District

Luke 19:38

Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!

We are made to worship, and that means that we all worship something. It may be our job, our March Madness brackets, our bank account, our family, or our reputation. But, we all worship something. We all turn to something and say, “Nothing compares to you.” We all have something or someone we give our heart to and treasure above all else.

Today’s verse, which anticipates Palm Sunday, reminds us that we are made to worship the one true king, Jesus Christ, and that we are to do so even when it’s costly. Even on the road marked with suffering, Jesus is worthy of our worship for nothing compares to him.

John Paton was born in Scotland in 1824. He had to quit school when he was 12 to help his dad support their family. When he was 17, he made a decision to become a disciple of Jesus Christ.

For the next ten years, he worked with children in the slums of Glasgow.

At 32, in response to the question, “What kind of world does God want?” he decided to become a missionary in the South Pacific. In March of 1858, he married Mary Ann Robson. The next month they sailed off to the South Pacific together. In less than a year, Mary gave birth to a son. But on March 3, 1859, Mary died of fever. Three weeks later, their son died as well. John Paton buried them alone and wrote, “But for Jesus I’d have gone mad and died beside that lonely grave.”

Something that sustained John Paton during this time was the words of his wife shortly before she died. Rather than being bitter at God or resenting her husband, she said, “I do not regret leaving home and friends. If I had it to do over, I would do it with more pleasure, yes, with all my heart.”

Here was a couple who experienced tremendous loss. Yet their hearts weren’t full of bitterness. Their hearts were full of worship. They were willing to give up everything for Jesus, because they knew that he was worth it.

Prayer: King of Endless Worth, help us to worship you today, not just with our words but with our lives. Amen.