November 23, 2011
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith. ... 1 Peter 5:8-9a
All of you heard the news of how, a few weeks ago, animals were set free from a private preserve in Ohio.
Since then there has been all kinds of discussion about the rights of people to own such beasties, about whether the police did the right thing by "shooting on sight," and what would have possessed an individual to do such a strange and dangerous thing.
As for me, I was interested in the reaction of the people who lived near the Muskingum County Animal Farm. From what I remember the populace was terrified -- and rightly so.
Along with that, the authorities ended up closing down some of the nearby schools. Announcements were made telling the public to stay inside, and news reporters descended on the place like a swarm of locusts.
Now I'm not going to say those folks overreacted. Most of them didn't.
The idea that your child could go walking off to school and end up as breakfast for some great cat that was hiding in a tree is a frightening proposal. For the police to spend time trying to subdue and return a bear while down the road a big, bad wolf was terrorizing grandma is incomprehensible.
No, those folks had a right to be afraid of those animals, even as Peter suggests we should be mindful and watchful in regard to our adversary the devil.
Peter knew what all too many folks have forgotten: the devil is real and he is looking for someone to join him for dinner.
Thankfully, for those who travel in the company of the Savior, there is no need to be totally terrified. On the Mount of Temptation, on Calvary's cross and, most of all, at the open tomb of resurrection Sunday, Jesus showed He could handle anything the devil might attempt to throw at Him.
All of this is my way of saying when the devil shows up (and he will), don't get all weird and worried. You just take yourself and go stand behind Jesus.
He is your Redeemer, Friend and Protector.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks that You have put Yourself between me and my enemies: sin, death and devil. May I learn to trust You and what You can do. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries