December 21, 2008
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke and exhort with complete patience and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2
Christmas is just a few days away. You might rightly expect this devotion to speak about that subject.
Instead, on this first day of winter, I'd like to speak about Christopher Columbus, who, 516 years ago stumbled upon the western hemisphere.
I really want to share a bit of Columbus trivia.
Did you know that, in 1493, Columbus dropped a bottle over the side of his ship? Did you know... that bottle had a message addressed to Isabella, the Queen of Spain? Did you know that, unbelievably, that message was delivered to Isabella?
That's right. It was delivered to Isabella the II. Three hundred fifty-nine years after that bottle was entrusted to the care of wind and wave it was found by the captain of an American ship.
Sadly, the lady for whom the message was intended had died long before.
Late Christmas cards are sad. Presents which come after Christmas are sad. A message delivered too late is equally sad.
This is why we need to do our best to make sure that the story of the Savior's birth, suffering, death, and resurrection gets delivered on time.
The need is great; the time is flying by. Indeed, by the time you have finished reading this devotion, more than 215 people will have died. Two hundred fifteen of our brothers and sisters for whom Jesus sacrificed Himself will never again have the chance to look into Bethlehem's manger, stand before the Jerusalem cross, or gaze into the borrowed, and empty tomb.
To get the message delivered is why I am proud to be part of an organization which "brings Christ to the nations." To get the message of the Savior's sacrifice and His story of salvation delivered is why your church does what it does.
We want to get Jesus' message delivered on time, while there still is time.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear God, Your timing is perfect. Thank you for delivering Your Son to save us from sin. Now, send Your Holy Spirit upon me that I might share the message of Jesus' birth, life, and victory over death. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries