God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins. Colossians 2:13
The mother of a nine-year-old got a call from her son’s teacher. That is normally not a good thing. Preparing herself for the worst, Mom listened as the teacher said, “Today I saw something unusual and I wanted to tell you about it.” That wasn’t much better. The teacher continued, “Early today, during our creative writing class, I gave an assignment. I began by telling Aesop’s story of the ant and the grasshopper. You know the fable: the ant works hard, the grasshopper fiddles away the time. When winter comes, the ant has enough to eat and the grasshopper asks for a handout.
“I asked the children to finish the story. Most of the class wrote, “The ant shared and both lived happily ever after.’ A few had the ant saying, ‘Sorry, Mr. Grasshopper, I only have enough for myself. If I share, we will both starve.’ But your son ended the story in a unique way. His story ended, ‘The ant gave all of his food to the grasshopper and the grasshopper lived happily, but the ant died.’ At the bottom of his assignment, your son drew a cross.” Quite an ending to the story, isn’t it?
It should be the ending to our story, as well. Because of our sin, we, like the grasshopper, are doomed to die. We want to know, “Is there any way we can escape?” Philosophers will say that each of us is on our own. We can learn to live with our sins, deny them, or forget them. That’s no help. Most of the world's religions say, “If you do the best you can, maybe, just maybe, you might be saved.” Sadly, they can’t tell you when you've done enough. That's no help, either.
Only Christianity says that God, in the person of Jesus, came down and took your place. Only Christianity speaks of a Savior who endured hunger so we would be filled, went without an earthly home so we might have a heavenly home, suffered so we could be saved, and died so we might live. Jesus took our place. Only Christianity has the story end with us having our sins forgiven. Only Christianity promises that, with faith in the crucified and resurrected living Savior, you will live happily ever after. Only Christianity guarantees a happy ending!
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on August 8, 2004
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank you for taking my place and forgiving my sins. I rejoice that as a Christian, I can look forward to a happy ending. Please help me to share this joy and my faith with those around me. In Jesus' Name. Amen.