Weekly Reflection (NEW!)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Visit the Archives for More Reflections!
Please read this passage in your Bible or follow it as a link: Ephesians 1:1-14
The Post-it Note
Grace tended to be absent-minded anyway. That's why Hope always put the post-it note on the envelope of payroll checks. Grace had the responsibility of people's well being resting on her shoulders, or so she chose to believe. She owned a stationery and paper goods store over on Craig St. The envelope of payroll checks was thin because Grace only had six employees. She wanted her small business to do well not only for her sake (She loved the smell of a sturdy cardstock and the feeling of textured paper on her fingertips.), but she also wanted the business to do well for the sake of her small band of employees. Right from the beginning in 1984 she had hired an accountant to do the books and the payroll. It was just safer that way despite the expense.
On Thursday morning she went over to her accountant's office, Hope Gladstone, CPA. Hope had the payroll ready and had put the post-it note on the envelope: "Needs signed." Hope had lived in Pittsburgh her whole life. She proudly and intentionally used the vernacular of the area. She knew better, grammatically speaking, but she felt connected to her roots and her blue-collar parents' lives at the mills. So her post-it notes often read: "Needs posted." "Needs paid." "Needs filed." "Needs signed."
That Thursday Grace was in a hurry. She made polite conversation with Hope about the weather, grabbed the payroll envelope, and tucked it under her arm. She scurried out the door and down the street. A sudden gust of wind caused Grace to brace herself against the gale. The post-it note came loose and floated away. Grace forgot to sign the checks on Thursday. Friday came and Grace left town for a long weekend in Ligonier.
At the store her band of employees gathered eagerly around the envelope to receive their pay. The check and pay stubs were distributed before the disappointment settled on their faces. The checks were useless. They weren't signed. Resigned to a quiet weekend at home, the employees went about their work. Grace would be back on Monday. She would apologize profusely, buy them lunch, and sign the checks. It would be all right. She was good for it.
A signature is the symbol of authenticity in our society. It is a witness to the truth. It is the verification of intentions. It is proof that a person was really there when a document was enacted. A signature lets the receiver know who sent the letter. Contracts, credit cards, checks, all types of licenses, attendance records, applications, releases, and wills are all useless without a signature on them. A signature represents the person to whom that unique signature belongs. We clamor for the autographs of celebrities because the signature proves to us and to others that we were really close to someone famous. Our hearts might beat a little faster or a grin may come across our faces when we show others the celebrated signature. Signatures convey to all that the “signer” is good for it. A signature above all is a pledge or promise.
God has given us a pledge. God has marked us with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit. The Spirit is God's signature on our lives. The passage from Ephesians tells us that God marked our lives or signed our lives when we heard the word of truth, the gospel of salvation and believed. God gave us God's pledge when the message of God's love for us in Christ was told to us and faith was created by the power of Holy Spirit to confess Jesus Christ as Lord. Indeed that God-given ability to make that faithful confession is God's signature on our lives. The ability to believe and trust is the proof that the Holy Spirit is with us.
That signature, that pledge, or that mark of the Holy Spirit comes with all the riches that God bestows upon us: grace, peace, well-being, assurance, holiness, adoption, redemption, forgiveness, knowing God's will, and a gathering up in God's loving care. It is God's faithful and eternal promise that we can stand holy and blameless before God in love. It is as if we come into life with post-it notes on our foreheads that read, "Needs signed." We desperately need God's signature on our lives for the comfort of our own souls. God's pledge through the seal of Holy Spirit assures us that God will always love us. God will always forgive us. God will always hold us tight as daughters and sons. This pledge comes to us through the promises of baptism and there are no winds of adversity ever too strong to separate us from God's signature--the seal of the Holy Spirit. It's true. God's good for it.
Pray for the assurance to love God and others because of God's signature on your whole life from beginning to eternity.
(o) 412-682-6886 (h) 412-421-0162