May 26, 2010
The LORD was grieved that He had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain. Genesis 6:6
Nobody can say the team's general manager wasn't blunt.
In April, the Seattle Sounders FC (FC stands for Football Club) lost a game to the Los Angeles Galaxy. In describing the game performance of his team, the manager of the Seattle Sounders FC said, "The effort wasn't good enough. The execution wasn't good enough. The heart wasn't good enough. The passion wasn't good enough."
Apparently, the front office of the team agrees.
That's why they decided the season ticket holders should be rewarded: they're getting their money back for the game. You heard that right: the team is offering a free one-game credit on next year's season tickets.
It's a great idea, but it sets a dangerous example.
For example, should you get your money back from a concert if someone plays a wrong note or a vocalist sings flat or sharp? Should you get your money back if you go to a movie and that movie doesn't end with everyone living happily ever after? Should someone who gambles at a casino get his money back if he is disappointed with the performance of the slot machine?
Where would it end? Would the elders of a congregation feel obligated to return the congregation's offering envelopes if the pastor's Sunday sermon wasn't up to par?
Eventually, a serious thought snuck into these silly musings: what if God was disappointed with the performance of humanity? Could He, figuratively speaking, ask for His money back?
You know, there was a time when the Lord regretted He had made us. Seeing the completeness of our sinful condition, He decided to wipe the slate clean and start again. Genesis tells that story in the flood narrative.
Truly, if the Lord withdrew His support, His love, His protection, His order, and His guidance from the universe, the result would be too frightening to contemplate. Luther wasn't joking when He said the Lord gives us all we "need to support this body and life."
But God doesn't withdraw His support, does He? Our long-suffering Lord prefers to create rather than condemn. So that He might create a new heart within us, so that He might save us from ourselves, the Heavenly Father sent His Son into this world.
So we might be forgiven, Jesus came and lived a life of complete sacrifice for us. Jesus obeyed the laws we have broken; He resisted the temptations to which we have fallen prey; He carried the sins which condemned us. Finally, on Calvary's cross, He completed the work which offers us salvation.
Jesus' third-day resurrection from the dead is our complete assurance that there is salvation for all who believe.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You have decided to love me in spite of my sins and shortcomings. Grant that I may love You in return, giving thanks for the Savior who died for my salvation. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries