"Naughty, Not Nice"
April 14, 2008
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4: 1-3
At the risk of stating the obvious, there are differences between men and women.
I know they aren't equal. For example, my wife, Pamela can spend hours looking through rows of greeting cards. I can't. After months of strenuous training, thirty seconds is my longest attempt.
Men and women are not equal when it comes to greeting cards. This is why, over the years, I have come to the conclusion my wife can find an appropriate card for any occasion-no matter how minor or inconsequential.
In that conclusion, I was wrong. Pamie never found a greeting card for people in prison. That is because, until recently, there were no greeting cards for the one-in-a-hundred Americans who were incarcerated. Thankfully, according to an article carried last week by CNN, Terrye Cheathem, a Los Angeles lawyer, has filled that vacuum.
Some of Terrye's cards are very simple. There is one that reads, "We are all praying for you while you do your time." Others are specifically holiday related: "You had the choice to be 'naughty or nice.' And you chose ... Now you have to do your time. But, Christmas won't be the same without you here."
Creator Terrye said the cards let family members say, "Look, things need to be different when you get out."
The Apostle Paul, himself a prisoner for the Gospel on more than one occasion, would have agreed. The words beginning our devotion today were written by the incarcerated Apostle to Christians who themselves had been imprisoned by sin, Satan, the flesh, and death. In the few sentences quoted, Paul lets these souls who had been freed by the Savior's sacrifice know they should now live differently.
No longer slaves to sin or in bondage to Satan, these Christians should let the world see the transforming power of the Gospel. The apostle was right; we need to be worthy of the calling to which we have been called. In all we do, we need to glorify the Father who sent His Son to set us free.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, once I was shackled by sin and enslaved by Satan. Through Your life, death, and resurrection, I have been freed from all that I was. Now I ask that You would send Your Holy Spirit to empower me, so I may live in a manner worthy of the freedom which You have given me. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries