Pay it forward
You may have heard to the expression `pay it forward`. If not, the definition is this “Pay it forward is an expression for when the recipient of an act of kindness does something kind for someone else rather than simply accepting or repaying the original good deed.” For example, if someone buys me a donut, I don’t reciprocate and next week buy that person a coffee but I seek to do an act of kindness for a different person. It’s a way of creating a chain reaction of kind acts instead of a closed loop of goodness. There are some restaurants and cafes that allow customers to pay for an extra meal or drink so that a homeless person can go in and receive a free meal.
When Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), he was espousing just this type of action. The answer to the question of `how to gain eternal life` was to love God with your whole self and love your neighbour as yourself. The sting in the story is that the Samaritan acted mercifully to someone he had every right to loathe and he acted mercifully without any expectation that he would receive back.
The grace and mercy that we can receive from Jesus is so immense that there isn’t a hope of us ever being able to repay the debt. Jesus instead calls us to `pay it forward` to the world around us without expecting back.
When we have been blessed, let us be a blessing to others.
Paying it forward in action…
The baby and toddler group at St. Helen’s has been running for almost a year. Over that time they have been blessed by families within the village as well as people from other towns and villages. 95% of the toys, books and equipment have been donated (to the point where they have more than they know what to do with!) Over the year the group has collected just over £260 from the £1 a child entrance fee. To `pay it forward`, the toddler group have given £130 to “Oliver Fisher Special Care Baby Trust” and have also bought the church a new CD player to help with the music for weddings, funerals and other events.