February 18, 2008
For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more. Hebrews 8:12
I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. That’s how this devotion needs to begin.
The bad news is 76-year-old Barbara Antonelli had a heart attack. The good news is they discovered the heart attack when she was in the doctor’s office.
The bad news is an ambulance had to be called to take her to the hospital. The good news is Barbara held on until the emergency vehicle arrived.
The bad news is a receptionist from the Staten Island Physician Practice demanded Ms. Antonelli come up with a five dollar co-pay before the ambulance was allowed to leave. That’s right, she wasn’t allowed to go to the hospital until she paid her doctor five bucks.
That’s bad news; the good news is Barbara made it to the hospital, was treated, and is doing well. Actually, Barbara was treated and is well enough to be very angry. She said, "You can't even get a book of stamps for that price. I was outraged. It was the most heartless, unthinkable thing to do. They were putting money on top of a person's life."
The folks at Staten Island Physician Practice said one of their employees had been “inappropriate” and offered up their apologies.
Barbara has not, as of yet, accepted their apology.
You know, as I read through the Gospels, I never find Jesus asking for a co-pay. He doesn’t ask for a co-pay from the ten lepers before He heals them. He doesn’t ask Jairus for a co-pay before He raises the man’s daughter from the dead. He doesn’t turn to the believing thief on the cross and ask for a co-pay before He gives the man His promise of paradise.
In truth, the word “co-pay” isn’t in the Bible. What Scripture does have is the story of a Lord who loves His people and says, “He will be merciful to us and forget all of our sins.”
This He will do not because of our co-pay, but because Jesus has paid everything for our spiritual health and healing. In His life, on the cross, at His open tomb we see Jesus giving His life for our eternal souls. It is a wondrous and gracious thing for Him to have done.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus for salvation without any co-pay, my gratitude. That You were willing to do all that was necessary for my salvation is a great and unearned gift. Today, and every day, may I show my gratitude by the way I live my life of thanksgiving. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries