January 13, 2011
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4
"Latin is a language, as dead as it can be. First it killed the Romans, and now it's killing me."
If I remember correctly, Professor Schmelling, my high school Latin professor, wasn't altogether fond of his students reciting that old saw.
Still, over the centuries entire languages do come and go and the passing of years causes words to take on new meanings.
People who are my age can remember when the word "gay" meant happy and carefree: Gay doesn't mean that anymore. My father lived in a time when being "square" was a good thing. If a man was honest, he was a "square-shooter," and if his debts were paid, he was "square with the world." Today, square isn't a compliment.
All this talk about words and language has been inspired by Lake Superior State University's 36th annual "List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness." This list is composed of words and expressions the university's faculty believes ought to be taken out and shot.
You probably have your own list ... maybe a TV commercial or two you hope never to hear or see again.
In contrast to humankind's blathering we have the Word of God. In the Scriptures we have been given the story of salvation, the Lord's way of bestowing eternal life. Those words, coming from the Lord, provide comfort, hope, forgiveness, peace and gladness.
Think for a moment, what passages of the Bible are precious to you? Is it Psalm 23:1: "The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want"? Is it John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life"? Is it the assurance of Ephesians 2:8: "For it is by grace you have been saved through faith -- and this not from yourselves it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast"?
These special sentences have one thing in common: they all point to the salvation that is ours through the life, suffering, death and resurrection of God's Son, our Savior. In Jesus we are given everything we need to be saved. Everything.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, for having given us Your Son, Your Scripture and Your gift of salvation, You have our thanks. May the lost souls of this world be brought to faith. May they see Your Word is true. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries