(Jesus said) "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." John 6:40
When we go out Christmas shopping, most of us prepare ourselves to be confronted by large crowds, sold-out selections and salespeople who are being overworked and underpaid.
Keara O'Neill expected nothing different when she went out shopping for a dress she would wear to an upcoming wedding. When she hesitated in buying an outfit, the salesperson insulted her size-eight figure and said she and her friends "were a joke."
O'Neill wrote a letter of complaint to the folks at Gasp, a chain of boutiques in Australia.
It was O'Neill's expectation that the salesperson would be disciplined for his insult or, at the very least, would be taught how a salesperson should wait on a customer.
If that is what O'Neill expected, she was disappointed -- disappointed in a big way.
First, O'Neill was told her salesperson was "too good at what he does. ... people whom are talented, generally do not tolerate having their time wasted, which is the reason you were provoked to leave the store."
It got worse. Another representative from Gasp told O'Neill, "We respect that not all consumers strive for a glamorous appearance; some prefer to simply blend in."
With that kind of attitude I guess I'm never going to go shopping at a Gasp store. That's partly because there are no Gasp stores around where I live, partly because they don't carry my size and mostly because I don't need any more people throwing insults my way.
When I heard of how O'Neill had been treated, I couldn't help but think of the contrast between that and the way we are spoken to by our loving Lord.
Because of our sin and the baseness of our hearts, God could have treated us most harshly. He could have sent us from His presence, and nobody could have made a reasonable argument against Him doing so.
Instead of doing what might have been expected, the Lord held out a promise. He said that any and everyone who looked upon His Son as Savior would be given eternal life.
Read through Scripture and you will find that invitation extended again and again. It was a promise that found its fulfillment in the birth, life, death and resurrection of the Savior whose birth we celebrate this month.
It is the prayer of all of us at Lutheran Hour Ministries that you will see the wonder and beauty of that promise.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we humans have a tendency to treat others disdainfully and with disregard. Forgive us when we feel so falsely superior. At the same time, grant us the faith to follow the Savior whose entire life was lived humbly and perfectly, so we might have salvation. In His Name we pray it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries