Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27
Please note: normally our Friday devotion comes from one of our international offices. But Pastor Klaus has written a special devotion dealing with the horrendous events in Boston this week. Today's regular international devotion will run next Monday, April 22.
Last year the boy was a student in Rachel Moo's second-grade class. As part of his schoolwork, he drew a poster.
The poster is not a brilliant piece of artwork. Still, embellished with hand-drawn hearts and a peace sign, the message the artwork conveys is simple and touching. The boy wrote: "No more hurting people."
Did I mention the poster is also incredibly poignant?
It's poignant because the Facebook picture of the boy proudly holding up his poster is making a statement to all of us. It is the only message the boy will ever send to most of us.
That's because the boy holding the picture is eight-year-old Martin Richard. Martin was killed at the Boston Marathon while he was waiting for family friends to come across the finish line. Martin's six-year-old sister and mother were also injured.
I am sure all of the Daily Devotion readers pray that the person or organization that killed Martin and harmed so many others will be captured and brought to justice. We agree it would be a good thing if the individual or group who is responsible would be stopped from ever repeating this cowardly and heinous act of terrorism.
Sadly, we know that even if and when they are caught, we will not find a final peace, nor will we be safe. There will always be others waiting in the wings who will be more than ready to persecute Christians, or send poisoned letters to senators, or threaten to bring nuclear war to the Pacific.
Because we live in a sin-stained world, the plea -- "No more hurting people" -- will continue to be our plea and prayer ... but not a highly likely possibility.
This is why we need to hear the Savior who says, "My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you." Truly, the peace Jesus bestows is different. His life, death and resurrection were not designed to put an end to the world's evil. That will not happen until Judgment Day.
No, Jesus gave His life so that we might have a conscience freed from guilt because He has forgiven our sins. Jesus offers a peace which says no matter what this world may do to you, I shall be your Friend, your Savior, your Source of strength, who will ultimately enable you to be victorious.
In short, because of Jesus in heaven we will finally be given a place where Martin's poster will be a reality. In heaven there will be "NO MORE HURTING PEOPLE."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, as one of Your people I shall pray and work for peace. Still, I know that real peace can only be found in the Savior who -- by His sacrifice -- has defeated sin and sorrow. May I share this truth with others who are hurting or who have been harmed. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries