I saw the flashing lights in my rearview mirror, glanced down at my speedometer and knew those lights were meant for me. I pulled over to the side of the road and pulled the appropriate documents from the glove compartment. As I reached into my purse the police officer was at my window “License and registration”. I pulled the little black folio that holds my driver’s license and my “badge” out of my purse and handed it to the officer. “Please take your license out of the holder and who do you work for?” said the officer. I responded “It’s not me but my husband was one of the firefighters killed on September 11?” The officer took all my paperwork and headed to his car. A few moments later he returned, handed me my paperwork and said “slow it down”. I said “Yes, sir. Thank you.”

As I pulled away, I felt bad because I really deserved a ticket. I had been driving above the speed limit. Bruce’s (my) badge stating FDNY widow had rescued me from getting a ticket. I was struck by the thought that because Bruce died I didn’t get what I deserved. I was grateful. Then I thought wow because Jesus died I don’t get what I deserve – Jesus paid the price for my sins. Just then I saw the flashing lights again, glanced at my speedometer and was confused because I wasn’t driving above the speed limit. The police car changed lanes, sped past me and pulled over another car. As I drove past, I wondered if they had a “special badge” to void a ticket. I wanted to lend them my badge. I wondered if they knew Jesus loved them and died for their sins. I was struck by how often I don’t tell people that. I was humbled and cried. My speeding story happened a couple of years. Today seemed like a good (Fri)day to tell you. Jesus loves you and died for you. 🙂

“If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.”