"If I'd Been There"
December 19, 2007
Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 1 Corinthians 10: 12
Did you ever wonder what you might have done if you had been at that Bethlehem inn when Mary and Joseph showed up looking for a room? Would you have said, “Here, take my spot, I can find another place to stay”?
Did you ever consider what you would have said if you had been in the crowd at the palace of Pontius Pilate when Jesus was brought out on display? Would you have bucked the crowd and called for the Savior to be released?
Most of us like to think we would have acted differently than everybody else. We’d like to think we would have thought, done, and said the right thing –not the convenient thing.
It’s possible, but I’m not that sure. You see, last week around 10:00 p.m., an employee closed down a northern Wisconsin gas station. Before he left, he reset the pumps, dropping the price of gas by a penny a gallon. At least that’s what he was supposed to do. What he really did was drop the price of gas from $3.29 a gallon to 33 cents a gallon.
An hour-and-a-half later the police called the owner of the gas station. Cars were lined up two deep at every pump, capitalizing on the employee’s error. Even though the price was clearly marked on the station’s big sign, 42 people bought 486 gallons of gas in less than two hours.
The owner of the gas station said, “I was very upset that there's that many dishonest people. . . They knew there was a problem, and they took advantage of an employee's mistake, and I think that's terrible.”
Not a single individual reported the problem.
So let me ask, what would you have done? Would you have been content to drive on by? Would you have called the owner? Would you have stood there and encouraged people not to steal from the business? What would you have done?
I would like to think I would have done the right thing. But I don’t know. You probably don’t either.
What happened at that Wisconsin gas station is pretty good evidence that we humans have sinful hearts; it’s positive proof we need a Savior, a Savior who can rescue us from death, devil, and ourselves. That’s why what happened at a Wisconsin gas station compels me to give thanks for the Christ who was born to save me from my stumbles, falls, failings, and sins. Jesus is good news for those of us who don’t always do the right thing.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for the gift of forgiveness that You have won for me at such a great cost, I give thanks. Forgive my sins and grant me a faith that will glorify You by doing the right thing. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries