"Then, the Judgment"
September 6, 2011
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
On May 29th Sarah Marie Stebbins died when her car hit a guardrail.
A few months later Stebbins' mother, Valerie, received a bill for $640.71 from the State of Maryland. The bill asked Sarah to pay for the guardrail she had damaged and threatened to charge 17 percent interest on any money left unpaid.
Valerie broke down in tears.
Now this is where things get interesting.
The story was reported to Maryland's State Highway Administration. And do you know what happened next?
I'll tell you because, quite honestly, you would never be able to guess. What happened was this: the State Highway Administration said the bill was an "inexcusable" error. Next, they rescinded the bill and then they promised the situation would never happen again. Indeed, a spokesman for Maryland's Highway Administration, Charlie Gischlar, said, "We are going to triple- and quadruple-check before anything goes out."
Amazing! They didn't try to intimidate anybody; they didn't try to cover things up; they didn't play any games; they didn't make any threats; they confessed they had done something wrong.
In response to something gone very wrong, they simply did the right thing: a very Christian thing.
They did what the apostle John encouraged God's people to do: they confessed their sins.
Indeed, we who have been redeemed by the Savior ought to honestly and regulary say, "Dear Savior, I'm sorry for what I have done wrong and from now on, with the Holy Spirit's power and Your ongoing presence, I will try to do better. May all of my life be a thanksgiving for Your great sacrifice made for me."
In fact, that is our prayer:
THE PRAYER: Dear Savior, I'm sorry for what I have done wrong and from now on, with the Holy Spirit's power and Your ongoing presence, I will try to do better. May all of my life be a thanksgiving for Your great sacrifice made for me. In Your Name I pray it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries