May 25, 2010
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24
Years ago some men brought in ladders and stole the copper gutters from the church where Pam and I had attended as children. The callousness of those thieves was shocking.
Equally shocking is the fact that someone has done the same at Veterans Memorial Park in Muskegon, Michigan. No, they didn't steal any gutters; they ripped off dozens of brass and aluminum markers from the places of the Veterans who are remembered there.
David Eling, director of the county's Department of Veterans Affairs said, "I just can't understand why somebody would do this . . . It's like going to the cemetery and knocking over someone's headstone. Why would you do that?"
Mr. Eling may not know the reason why someone might disregard the pain he is causing the family and friends of these Vets; he might not know, but the Bible does.
The world is filled with sinners, including thieves who steal from those who have offered up their time and even their lives to give them freedom.
Amazingly, it is for such sinners, for all sinners, that the Lord Jesus came into this world.
So that sinners might be saved, Jesus sacrificed Himself. His life, His suffering, and His death are God's gift, which offers forgiveness and freedom to all who believe.
That is the salvation truth which St. Paul was talking about when he wrote to the believers at Rome. He wanted them -- and us -- to know we are sinners, but we are sinners who are saved through Jesus Christ.
Now you will note that St. Paul doesn't list any exceptions in his writing. He doesn't write that "everyone can be saved except for grave robbers." No, Jesus holds out forgiveness to all sinners.
Even sinners like us.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You have sent Your Son to seek and save sinners. Now I pray that those who have disregarded Jesus' invitation may be given a change of heart and be granted the ability to see the wonders of Your great grace. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
THE REST OF THE STORY - Whitehall Products, a Michigan company, has come forward and volunteered to replace at no charge all of the plaques that have been stolen from Muskegon's Veterans Memorial Park.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries