April 13, 2011
(Jesus said) "And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.' But he answered, 'Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.' Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour." Matthew 25:10-13
Pastor's Note: This devotion talks about a state lottery. The reference to the practice should not in any way be construed as an endorsement or approval. The truth is the story was simply too good not to use.
$319 million is a lot of money. Even when you divide the $319 million into seven piles, those piles are still pretty big.
$319 million is the amount of cash being split between a group of seven folks who work at the Albany Department of Housing and Community Renewal. Each of them is picking up around $19 million.
But there's another group of people who work at that same location -- five folks who normally chip in on the ticket for the Mega Millions pool, but for some reason, didn't. I don't know the reason they didn't hand over the necessary $2, but at least one of them said he didn't "feel lucky that day."
Those five are splitting, well, they're splitting nothing. They're left on the outside looking in -- just like the women in Jesus' parable about the wedding feast. Because those ladies let a chance for admission slip by, they also found themselves on the outside looking in.
Now if you're left out of things in a story, that's not too big a deal. And if you don't win the lottery, you can be comforted because there are a few million people who played that same lottery and they ended up with nothing ... just like you.
But what can be said when someone misses his chance to get into heaven? What comfort can be given to the individual who had the opportunity to believe, had the opportunity to acknowledge the Savior?
What comfort could be given to those who rejected the Savior who died on the cross and rose so they might live? Truly, it would be hell, just as it would be heaven, for all who were brought to faith in the Savior's blood.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel and that He has encouraged and kept me in the faith. Now I pray for those who don't know or refuse to acknowledge You. Now, before it is too late, may they see the wonders and blessedness of Your sacrifice which saves. In Your Name I ask it Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries