"End of the Year"
December 28, 2008
Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 23:18
Many years ago, in the fall, we had a reception to welcome a new teacher at my church's parochial school.
Everybody wanted to welcome the new instructor, including a little first grader who brought some flowers and a well-rehearsed speech.
When she presented her bouquet, the little girl said, "These flowers will die, but you will smell forever." To the credit of my congregation, nobody laughed out loud. Even so, some people had to turn away to hide their amusement at words, which... hadn't come out exactly as they had intended.
Right now, we are in the closing days and hours of 2008. It is a time when we all have to confess that the year hasn't turned out exactly as we intended.
The economy isn't what we had hoped for. Our accomplishments haven't checked off all the goals we set at the beginning of the year, and few of us are where we had hoped to be.
Indeed, to paraphrase our little girl, we have to say of 2008, "The hours will pass away, but you will smell forever."
No, we haven't done all we wanted or accomplished all we should.
To all of these shortcomings and disappointments, because of Jesus and the forgiveness He gives and the salvation He so freely offers, our heavenly Father gives us hope for the next year and the year after that.
Because of God's grace we are able to say, "The years will pass away, but, Dear Lord, for giving us hope and redemption, we shall thank You forever."
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, even though the years keep flying by, because of Jesus our hope remains and our redemption is eternal. With a thankful heart, I give thanks in the Name of my crucified and ever-living Savior. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries