"All That We Are"
January 12, 2012
For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:9-10
Odds are pretty good that very few Daily Devotion readers have ever heard of that little Bavarian town in the mountains near the German-Czech border. There are even better odds that most of us can't say that hamlet's name without a bit of practice.
No matter, Mitterfirmiansreut is still going to be a tourist attraction from now until the beginning of spring.
I'm glad you asked. It's because in honor of the past, the people of Mitterfirmiansreut have built a church composed of snow and ice. The 65-foot-long building worships 200 and is composed of slabs of ice and 49,000 cubic feet of the white stuff.
So, what happened in the past which caused the folks of that Bavarian mountain village to build a snow church? Back in 1911 the Christians of Mitterfirmiansreut had grown tired of walking hours to a neighboring community for worship. To show their enthusiasm for a local facility, they erected the community's first snow church.
And being a practical lot, they used the most common materials to do the job. It's a trick they must have learned from the Lord.
It's true, you know. The Lord doesn't always use the most brilliant, the most beautiful or the brightest among us to accomplish His purposes.
Read through Scripture and you will see Him call an exiled murderer to lead His people out of slavery. He will select a forgettable Bethlehem shepherd boy to be king over His people, and a despised tax-collector to record the story of the Redeemer's life.
This is why, if I were you, I wouldn't be too surprised if the Lord taps you on the shoulder and says, "I'd like you to do this for me" or "I'd like you to work on that so my Son's Name might be better known." No, I wouldn't be surprised, and I wouldn't be too eager to tell the Lord there are many others better qualified to do the job.
There may be others, but it's you He has selected.
That's a fact St. Paul understood. That's why he wrote the words of today's text that tell us God's grace has made us what we are, and it's by His power His work is done.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, You have given each of us a job to do. Rather than refusing Your work and declaring our inadequacies, help us do all we can to proclaim the crucified and risen Christ to a lost world. Empowered by Your grace, may we share the salvation which comes through faith in Jesus. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries