Yesterday, I went down to Evansville to work on-site with a client company and so I tried, as usual, to stay at a convenient hotel near the office. Unfortunately, both my first and second choices were completely sold out so I was frantically trying to find somewhere else to stay. Luckily, I was able to find a new hotel in the area and so, when I arrived last evening, I was anxious to check out the new place.
They had snacks and cookies for the guests – and the front desk people were incredibly polite – something that I am sensitive to as I am on the road quite a few nights and I always look for friendly service people. They even gave me a reduced rate as a first time guest and I really appreciated their hospitality. The bed was comfortable and I even had a voucher for breakfast. All in all, it was a great experience.
Last night, I noticed that each of the employees wore a name tag that also included information about the person. I’m sure you have seen these before – either in hotels, or even more frequently, on cruise ships. You can read the name on the tag and then the country that they are from. Sometimes, Janet and I even try to see how many different countries we can identify from various crew members onboard. And then, there are similar tags for hotel employees.
The gentlemen at the check out counter this morning was exceptionally friendly – and I was trying to guess what country he was from. I was thinking “Trinidad” or some similar place – maybe “Jamaica.” Anyway, I could read his name – “Carlos” but I couldn’t see his home country so I took a closer look. I couldn’t help but chuckle as I read, “I Love Jesus” on the badge under his name. I guess his home country is “Heaven” – don’t you think?
I thought the whole thing was great. You just don’t see that demonstration of faith very often in the corporate world these days. I was particularly surprised to actually see it printed on a name badge. I told Carlos that I liked his name plate and he replied that he believed that you had to “spread the word” and this was his way to do that.
That’s an interesting phrase to use when referring to God. In the NIV, the phrase only appears twice in the entire Bible. The first time is in Luke 2 when the shepherds have seen the Baby Jesus and they “spread the word” concerning what they had seen.” The second occurrence is our verse for this evening. This story, like the one from Luke, includes the presence of Jesus and this particular event happens in the recounting of the death of Lazarus. We are told, from John 12:17, “Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word.” Notice that in both of these instances, Jesus was present and a miracle had occurred. How great is that!
My encouragement this evening is that God wants us to proclaim Him to the world. Be proud of your faith and make sure that you spread the word. My prayer is that you will be convincing and unbridled in your demonstration of love – both for God and your fellow man. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…