And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." .... Luke 23:33-34a
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Common actions mean different things to people of different cultures.
For example, in Japan it is considered rude to reveal one's teeth. For that reason, citizens of that ancient country cover their mouths when they laugh.
In Sri Lanka, people shake their heads from side to side if they mean yes, and they nod up and down to indicate their answer is no. This is quite the opposite of many cultures.
Spaniards show approval by snapping their thumbs and first fingers, and in Thailand it is considered rude to point to an object with your hand, but is acceptable to point to an object with your chin.
Compare these actions with those in your culture.
You can probably think of other examples of non-verbal communications from your own experiences, travels, or international television and movies. Some actions are kind; others are rude.
Amazingly, when we want the truth, we often look more to the non-verbal than we do words.
Jesus' hours on the cross were designed to communicate a message to this sinful world. His hours of pain were intended to tell everyone of God's love. His suffering and death were an expression of love for people of every race and culture -- regardless of their native language.
The death of sinners -- our death -- became His. With His face dripping blood and His body in agony, the Savior expressed a love beyond words or comprehension. Paul tried to summarize that love when he wrote "Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men" (Romans 5:18).
Jesus' death on the cross tells us that salvation and eternal life have been given to all who believe on Him.
May we in words and actions share that loving truth to all around us, to everyone we meet.
After all, it is a message which was intended for them.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I give thanks for all that Jesus did and said throughout His life. Most of all I am grateful for the suffering and death which He endured for the world's salvation. May the Holy Spirit use me to share that gift with others. In the Savior's Name, I ask it. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion comes from Lutheran Hour Ministries' volunteer Cheryl Ehlers. She served as a missionary wife in Thailand from 1993-2000. Known locally as Journey Into Light, Lutheran Hour Ministries-Thailand uses mass media technologies to share the Gospel. Broadcasting five, 30-minute radio programs each day; maintaining a website that offers Christian music, printed materials and free booklets; and using Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) are some of the ways this 20-year-old ministry center connects with people in this country of 66 million people.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries