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
Luther said it about as well as anyone has.
In the meaning to the First Article, the Reformer wrote this: "He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil. All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him. This is most certainly true."
When I went to parochial school, as part of confirmation class, we had to memorize those words. We memorized them, but we didn't think much about them.
I'm pretty sure the same can't be said about Atlanta's John Garber, who works as a valet for Atlanta's National Parking firm. One night, around 3 a.m., Garber was helping a customer when he heard five loud explosions, five bullet shots.
One of those bullets went wild and hit Garber ... sort of.
Actually, the bullet went into Garber's coat. It went into his coat, but not into him. That's because the bullet hit his cell phone. Now, normally a cell phone won't stop a bullet, but this bullet hit the battery of his cell phone.
Bent the dickens out of the battery, but Garber is fine. God had defended him against danger. He does the same for us. Let me ask, how many bullets have hit your coat, or your cell phone's battery or you? Have you had any close calls?
Think. How many illnesses do you not have? How many drunk drivers have not crashed into you? How many times has your plane not lost power and plunged to the ground? How many times has your food not had botulism? How many suicide bombers didn't pull the cord when they were standing near you?
You get the idea. Now all those things could have happened, but they didn't. That's because the Lord preserves us. Our hearts keep beating; our minds keep thinking; our diaphragm keeps air going in and out.
Even when we don't know it, and that's most of the time, God is still guarding and protecting -- not because we're good, but because that's who He is; it's what He does.
And what should we do? Luther said it well: We should thank and praise, serve and obey.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, for protecting me from what is not seen, what is not known, what is not feared, my thanks. May I be grateful for all of Your handiwork and love. This I ask in the Name of my Savior. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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