I’m a golfer and an avid golf fan. Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Gary Player, Johnny Miller and Tom Watson were golfers from the 60s and 70s who greatly inspired me. But the one I admired most was Arnold Palmer.
Palmer was an aggressive, go-for-broke golfer. His popularity produced a legion of fans known as “Arnie’s army.” They held Palmer in such high regard that they named him “The King.” This honor was bestowed not only because of Palmer’s prowess on the golf course, but – and I would add more importantly – because of his kindness and generosity toward others.
Throughout his life, Arnold Palmer not only gave full effort to his sport, he gave generously of himself to the people who crossed his path. It didn’t matter how busy or tired he was; it didn’t matter how famous he became or who the person was in front of him, he was known to always be kind and generous.
Palmer’s example reminds us that no matter who we are, the most precious gift we can give is our time and our attention—in other words, ourselves. We share the present of our presence, as we follow the ultimate gift-giver, Jesus Christ.
What is the greatest gift Jesus gives us? Himself! In John 6, he told his disciples that his Father gives them the “true bread of heaven.” Then Jesus declared: “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Sadly, when Arnold Palmer passed in 2016, we lost his loving presence. Like Palmer, Jesus experienced death. But, three days later, he rose from the grave. Through his resurrection we have an inexhaustible supply of the bread of life. Even now, Jesus is seated at the Father’s right hand. He continues to share his love and life with us. One way we remind ourselves of his generous sacrifice for us is through Communion. At the table, we receive the bread of life and fruit of the vine. We remember that Jesus sustains us and satisfies our thirsty souls.
And there’s more — Jesus also comes to us by the Spirit day in and day out. Do we sense his presence and rejoice in it as we pray and study his word? Do we hear his voice and follow it as we walk and talk with him throughout the day? My prayer is that we will.
This is Greg Williams speaking of the source of life, Jesus.