August 4, 2008
The Law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. Psalm 19:7
Stone Lakes in Louisville, Kentucky, is a pleasant, suburban subdivision.
Stone Lakes is the kind of place where a husband and wife can put down roots and raise a family. At least, Stone Lakes ought to be that kind of place. The problem is, Stone Lakes is not especially safe. Although Stone Lakes has a posted speed limit of 25 mph, some drivers rip down the residential streets at 55.
That's the kind of speeding that can earn a person a nasty ticket. It is also the kind of speeding that doesn't allow motorists to safely react to a child who darts out from between cars.
Officials have said the city will be more than glad to put some speed bumps in the street if 70 percent of the residents think that ought to be done, and if those same residents are willing to cough up half the money to finance the job.
Speed bumps may, or may not, happen.
Until they do, Landon Wilburn is becoming a vigilante.
Being a vigilante is hard work, especially for someone like Landon, who is only 11. Even so, he believes he must do what he can to protect his neighborhood. To that end, Landon started out yelling at speeders and when shouting proved ineffectual, Landon donned a reflective vest, a helmet, and pointed a Hot Wheels® radar gun at lead-footed motorists.
And what has been the reaction of drivers to an 11-year-old boy armed with a toy radar gun?
According to the residents of Stone Lakes subdivision, when speeders get a glimpse of that radar gun, even in the hands of a child, they slam on their brakes - - hard - - and then they start driving sensibly.
As King David said, the Law has the ability to make simple people, wise. Of course, the Old Testament monarch was referring to God's perfect Law, not the rules-of-the-road laws being enforced by Landon Wilburn.
Truly, it would be good if people were wise on their own, but we're not. It would be good if we lived rightly on our own, but we don't. Every one of us is a sinner - - a quality God's Law so clearly points out. Like Landon's speed gun, God's Law lets us know we're messing up.
Sadly, God's Law doesn't help us out of our sad and sorry sinful state.
If we are going to be saved, if we are going to be moved from the status of sinner to forgiven saint, we need more than the Law of God, we need the love of God - - the love of God which became incarnate in Jesus Christ. He is the Babe of Bethlehem, the Christ of the cross, the Savior of the empty tomb. Jesus is God's gracious answer to our breaking of the Law.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Your law points out my sins and shortcomings. For these things I am sorry. But I also rejoice in Your Son who saves me from what I was. May I live like an ex-sinner and as a forgiven saint. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries