"But It's Not Pretty"
June 16, 2011
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. Proverbs 10:12
Outside my office window the 13-year cicadas are making a racket. It's a sound which takes me back many years to when I was a boy and heard that sound for the first time.
I was ten and summer vacation seemed to stretch on forever. The church had a picnic in a big park. The older fellas challenged the younger ones to a game of softball. The kids -- legs encased in gunny sacks -- jumped against each other. Husbands and wives engaged in the water balloon toss. Even though the temperature was in the 90s, our pastor came in his clerical collar and black suit. (That was what ministers did back then.)
The only thing which could have made the day better was an ice cream bar from the Good Humor truck, which cruised our neighborhood.
Without a lot of disposable cash, it was a rare thing when Mom called the three of us together and escorted us out to make our selection from the billions of choices that white wagon contained.
Of course, those are the reminiscences of a white-bearded, old preacher. No doubt the reality is closer to that which recently occurred in Uniontown, Penn. The Herald Standard of Uniontown says the police are concerned about a problem between two of their ice cream truck drivers.
Although there is some doubt of who did what to whom, it appears one of the fellows tried to run the other off the road. It also appears one of the fellows said a naughty word when he was greeted by his colleague-competitor. Things got so bad the city is thinking of revoking their permits.
I agree with the city. The city knows seeing two ice cream truck drivers going after each other is the kind of thing which might well scar the young people of that town for life.
Still, it does verify the statement of Ecclesiastes: there is not a man on earth who does good and always avoids sinning (see Ecclesiastes 7:20). I mean if ice cream truck drivers can try to run each other off the road, none of us is safe.
Which is why we need Jesus -- always have -- always will.
Fifty-plus years ago, those fellas on the church softball field needed Jesus. Their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren need Him, too.
That's because Jesus is all the things we are not. We are sinners, He is perfect. We fall victims to temptation while He resists it. We deserved hell, but He went there to make sure we didn't have to.
More than a precious memory, Jesus is the risen Savior who is with us in the good times and bad, the happy times and sad. Jesus is the Savior who is needed no matter what age we are, no matter how long or short may be our lives.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, sometimes we pretend we are all pretty good people and You ought to take us just the way we are. Thankfully You don't do that. You do something better. Because of Your Son's life, death and resurrection, You forgive our sins and save our souls. By the Holy Spirit's power may others come to know how much they need a Savior. This I pray in His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries