January 2, 2013
And when your children say to you, "What do you mean by this service?" you shall say, "It is the sacrifice of the Lord's Passover, for He passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt." Exodus 12:26-27
We are only two days into the New Year.
Did you know we almost didn't make it? It's true. On the night of December 12th, an asteroid, asteroid 4179 Toutatis, came within a whisper of smacking into earth. Scientists have calculated that if an asteroid slightly larger than one-half mile across were to hit earth it would have catastrophic consequences.
This meteor was three miles wide.
Now, when I suggest that we had a close call with asteroid 4179 Toutatis, you should know that that hunk of rock was still 4.3 million miles away. Still, when astronomers are used to speaking in terms of light years, 4.3 million miles is almost right across the street.
Asteroid 4179 Toutatis missed us. What's the point?
The point is this: even though you may not know the danger you were in, the Lord did. Human astronomers first saw the asteroid in 1934, but the Lord had been watching it since it made its first orbit around the sun.
He had known about asteroid 4179 Toutatis, and He has protected us from an unknown danger. In short, we, like the children of Israel, have been blessed by a pass-over.
Considering the number of things that can go wrong in our lives, I am sure this is not the first time He has had death pass over us, and I am equally sure it will not be the last time He will protect us.
We will never know how many times the Lord has kept us from being injured because an auto accident didn't happen. We cannot guess how often He has kept our feet from stumbling and falling. We will always remain unaware of the multitude of viruses and bacteria that never were able to lay us low because He was keeping us safe.
The list of unhappened tragedies could stretch from my desk past the place where asteroid 4179 Toutatis is chugging through the solar system. All we need say is this: we don't continuously live the life of Job because God loves us, because He protects us, and because He continues to save us.
That's not surprising, is it?
Those are the very reasons that brought Jesus into this world to live, suffer, die and rise for us. The reasons God saves us temporally are the same reasons He has saved us eternally.
Luther said it better: "He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life. He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil. All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him. This is most certainly true"
It is true, which is why we pray:
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, in this New Year may I be thankful for the blessings I see and the protection I don't see. Most of all may I be grateful for the love and salvation Jesus has won. In His Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries