August 23, 2010
(Jesus said) "Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you." Luke 6:38
Merrie Harris of Manhattan is a risk taker.
No, she doesn't bet on the horses, nor does she make frequent trips to Vegas. Merrie Harris does something which most of us would think is far more risky.
Recently, when a homeless man came up to her and asked for some money to buy vitamin water and a pack of cigarettes, Ms. Harris was cash poor. But she did have a Platinum American Express Card.
She handed her card over to the man, and the man promptly disappeared.
The man was gone for five minutes, ten minutes, fifteen. During that quarter-hour Merrie Harris' friends made fun of her. The longer the man and card were gone, the more fun those friends had.
Well, the man did return and he did hand back Ms. Harris' card. I'm glad Ms. Harris' faith in humankind wasn't shot down -- at least on that day. Her risk had paid off.
But it occurs to me the Lord did something far more risky. He sent His Son into this world to save humanity. From start to finish Jesus risked Himself. He even sacrificed Himself for us. Jesus risked everything so that all who believe on Him might be saved.
Scripture records how little His work was appreciated while He was here. Since His ascension into heaven, history tells us things haven't gotten much better. Far too many souls despise Jesus, ignore Jesus, and disregard His great sacrifice.
So was Jesus' life, death, and resurrection a bad risk?
That's an impossible question for me to answer. On the other hand, I would think it would be a good thing if -- when the Lord looks at us today -- He would say to Himself, "I'm glad I did what I did. It has all been worthwhile."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, looking at this sinful world must sometimes be a sad thing for You to do. You gave humanity so much, and we have appreciated Jesus so little. Today, and every day, make my life one of gratitude and thanksgiving. Because of Jesus, I ask this. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries