Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Galatians 1:3-5
Ella is safe.
Ella is safe because Amy Rice risked her life to save Ella from the jaws of a Pit Bull who had jumped the fence to get at Ella.
Now, if you're thinking that's an interesting story, you don't know the half of it. You should also know that Ella is a dog-Amy's Labrador Retriever.
According to the Associated Press article, when Amy saw her dog was in danger, she tried to pull the attacking pit bull off. She says, "I was sure my dog was dying in my arms, it was horrible." When she wasn't able to pry the pit bull's jaws open, Amy did what was necessary.
To save her dog, Amy bit the pit bull's nose. She bit hard and drew blood. She admits, "I didn't plan it, that's what happened."
What also happened is this: the pit bull is in quarantine at the Minneapolis Animal Control; Amy is waiting to find out if she's going to need rabies shots, and Ella has a crushed ear canal along with some staples and stitches in her head.
Even though I deeply love most dogs, when I first heard that story I thought why would a human being risk her life to save her canine? And you, having now heard this story, may wonder what does this have to do with Daily Devotions?
Might I suggest it has a great deal to do with Christianity. You see, Jesus Christ is God's only Son. He is perfect; He is eternal; He is all powerful and all knowing. He is as far above us as anyone can be; His value is beyond human comprehension.
Even so, God's Son willingly gave up His life so that we, sinful, ungrateful human beings might be saved. If Amy's risk of her life to save a dog doesn't make sense, what can be said of Jesus' sacrifice of Himself to save sinners?
It's a wonder; it's a miracle; it is grace. That's what St. Paul was trying to convey when he wrote to the church in Galatia. He said we have grace and peace because Jesus Christ gave Himself for our sins, so we might be delivered from this age of evil.
St. Paul also said that because of God's gracious gift, we should be filled with thankful hearts, which continuously give God glory. Giving thanks is what Ella the Labrador will do for Amy; it's what saved sinners should do for their Redeemer.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, Your sacrifice shows You as my true benefactor. May I, touched by Your service and suffering, be motivated to reflect Your commitment in the way I serve others. In Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries