September 23, 2010
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18
Ray Midgett is a beachcomber.
I'm not exactly sure what other beachcombers do, but in Midgett's case it means he takes a metal detector and searches for stuff along an expanse of beach near Corolla, North Carolina.
Over the years Midgett has been pretty lucky in his stuff seeking. On his list of items recovered are antique coins and a few wedding rings. Still, nothing Midgett has found in the past could have prepared him for his most recent discovery: a sunken ship.
At first everybody thought it was a British ship, the HMS Swift. But Midgett's wreck wasn't the Swift. It was a ship much older, a ship from the 1600s. That makes Midgett's ship the oldest wreck ever found in North Carolina.
Now, I can understand Midgett's excitement, and I know what he meant. But when he was talking to the reporters, he said something that struck me as unusual. He said, "There are so many shipwrecks up here. It's just beautiful."
He's probably right. For a fellow searching for stuff it's wonderful, but for the persons who were involved in those shipwrecks, it's anything but beautiful. Your opinion depends on your perspective.
Midgett's remark made me think of the text for today's Daily Devotion. Paul writes, "the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."
The significance of the cross depends on your perspective. If you are a sinner who is convicted by your sins, if you knew you were an unforgiven soul living in dread of what awaited you after you died, the cross becomes a lifeline -- your only source of hope.
On the other hand, if you're the kind of person who thinks you are fine as you are, well, all this talk about Jesus' suffering and death is just plain foolishness.
Perspective. I imagine that's the way it will stay until Judgment Day. On that day, all of us will be of the same mind. We will agree the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was the most important event in all of history.
Even more important than finding a sunken ship.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, for saving me from condemnation and certain damnation I give thanks. May my life reflect the peace You have given. And, if possible, may the Holy Spirit let others see Your sacrifice from a right and proper perspective. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries