May 1, 2017

Here is our memory verse for the week:

Hebrews 4:16 (NLT) — 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Today is May 1st and when I was kid growing up in New York and later as a kid in Fergus Falls we still had the tradition of giving out May Baskets. The basket could consist of just flowers or flowers and candy or maybe even food or whatever a poor family might need. My mom would make up the baskets and then we kids would go and hang them on people’s doorknobs and ring their doorbell and then run and hide behind a tree or a hedge and watch their reaction to the basket with its goodies.

I like the May basket tradition for a number of reasons:

  1. Giving is anonymous. Reciprocity is not expected. You leave the basket on the doorknob or doorstep, ring the doorbell and run.
  2. Children give to grownup. We kids are usually on the receiving end when it comes to gifts. On May Day we got to experience the true joy of unselfish giving.
  3. It is an inexpensive way brighten someone’s day. A lot of the baskets that were made up went to some of the elderly folks that were living alone in the neighborhood. Or maybe it was to a home where we knew that the kids living their were not the most ‘popular kids in school. Or it could have been a single mom who was raising her children alone.
  4. May baskets indicated that new life in the form of spring was on its way.

So as I was contemplating our memory verse I thought wow what a wonderful May Basket God prepared for us. The basket wasn’t very pretty. It was his son hanging all bloodied and beaten on a cross. But O what goodies that basket contained. That basket contained a free access pass to God anytime night or day! Imagine that a free ‘back stage pass’ to God. Imagine the new life that will form in you after you have just been with the Creator of Life. What is your reaction to this basket?

That gift was given with nothing expected in return. That gift was given unselfishly. The contents of that basket > grace and mercy certainly brightens our day every time we think about them. Grace gives us favor with God; something that we could never earn. Grace also is the strength that we need to live for God; something we could never do on our own.

Mercy doesn’t give us what we deserve > eternal damnation. While we were still sinners Christ died for us.(Rom.5:8). The beauty of this May Basket is that it’s contents never run out! Daily we can go and receive grace and mercy to help us when we really need it. God looked out on His neighborhood and he saw us and decided to come and ring our bell. He doesn’t run and hide instead he waits for us with open arms; arms filled with grace and mercy. All we have to do is receive.

I believe God wants us to reinstate May Baskets. Where in your neighborhood could you extend some of this supply of unlimited grace and mercy that you have received? Where in your relationships could you bring this new life of grace and mercy? Would you do it and not expect anything in return? Will you do it unselfishly? Will you do it?

Be Inspired Hilltop!


  1. Mark Gundersen says

    I bet Cleo would agree with you and Vesper and Rylie would help.