March 22, 2012
And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the Name that is above every name, so that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:8-11
I'm a dog lover, always have been.
Still, I do have my limits, limits which apparently aren't shared by Scott Janssen, the "Mushing Mortician."
Janssen is one of those brave souls whose dog team ran in this year's Iditarod in Alaska. According to the story he shared with the Anchorage Daily News, he was going through the Dalzell Gorge when one of his huskies, a nine-year-old dog named Marshall collapsed.
The dog stopped, dropped, and by the time Janssen examined him, he had stopped breathing.
In tears, Janssen acted like a true dog lover. He says it this way, "I had my mouth over his nose, breathing into his nose, as I was compressing and rubbing his chest, trying to work the air out."
Janssen's work paid off. Marshall took a breath, was mushed 32 miles to the Rohn checkpoint, where the vets gave him an IV and sent him home.
As I said, I love my dog, but I don't know if I'd go as far as Janssen did in saving Marshall, which takes me to the point of the devotion.
Did you ever consider what it meant for God's perfect Son to leave heaven and become one of us? Have you ever thought how big a step down it was for Jesus to be born a human, to live in this sad, sorry, sinful world? Have you ever reflected on what He left when He walked away from the praise of heaven to endure the mockery of humankind?
I doubt if I'd have gone that far to save sinful humankind. No, I wouldn't even consider doing what Jesus did.
Still, that is what Jesus did. He humbled Himself and lived a life of obedience, a life of obedience that took Him to the cross. There, having done all the Father had asked of Him, all which was necessary to save sinners, Jesus called out, "It is finished" (see John 19:30).
And it was finished. With His glorious resurrection from the dead and because of God's limitless grace and mercy, we who are brought to faith have been rescued and redeemed.
For that kind of love, that kind of faithfulness Jesus ought to be adored by every sinner. As Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, before Jesus every knee ought to bow and every tongue confess that He is my Lord.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, may I -- a saved sinner -- show my gratitude for Your Son who left heaven to become human. May I hold His Name in deepest reverence and awe. As always, I ask it in His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries