December 27, 2011
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. 1 John 4:14
AS WE ARE STILL LITURGICALLY IN THE CHRISTMAS SEASON, THIS WEEK'S DAILY DEVOTIONS WILL CONTINUE TO CENTER ON THE SAVIOR'S BIRTH AND LITTLE-KNOWN PIECES OF INFORMATION CONCERNING OUR CELEBRATION OF THAT SOUL-SAVING EVENT. PASTOR KEN KLAUS
When our children were young, we often found their Christmas list included many of the same things that were on the lists of many other children.
The law of supply and demand, along with the fact we were living in a rather remote area of South Dakota, meant the chance of us answering their heart's desire was minimal. Of course, we went through the motions. We drove to other towns and stopped in one store after another. We were ready to pay just about anything to get one of those Cabbage Patch Kids.
Thankfully, by the time Tickle Me Elmo became the rage in 1996, our girls were too old to put that toy on their list. I'm glad. One Wal-Mart employee was trampled when 300 parents battled for the 49 dolls that were available at his store. That fellow could tell you parents will do just about anything for their kids.
Over the years we've watched parents and noted how far they will go for their children.
We were shocked when some parents transformed themselves into armed robbers, so they could get a PlayStation 3. We were amazed when, in Lexington, Kentucky, a man used his BB gun to shoot four fellow shoppers and thereby shorten the line so he might get a select toy for his children.
Eventually we concluded some parents will go to almost any length to get their children what they want.
That's not true of our Heavenly Father. You see, He doesn't spend a lot of time worrying about answering the wants of our sinful heats.
No, God is more concerned about giving us what we need. It's true: Jesus' Bethlehem birth, His life, His death and resurrection are proof there is no limitation to the Lord's love when it comes to giving us what we need.
So we might be cleansed of our sins, so we might be rescued from Satan's clutches, so we might be promised eternal life Jesus entered this world and dedicated His life to changing our lives and our futures.
The Savior's third-day resurrection from the dead is God's sign and seal that His work has been successfully completed. Now we who are given faith in the Christ are blessed to discover not only is Christ what we need ... He is also what we should have wanted all along.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, at Christmastime we parents and relatives often run ourselves ragged to give our children a gift that is temporary and transient. Accept our thanks that the gifts You give to us are permanent, needed and necessary. These thanks I offer in the Name of Jesus who is Your great present of grace. Amen.
(P.S. Thanks to a wonderful sister-in-law who braved the crowds in Chicago, our girls did get their Cabbage Patch dolls that year.)
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries