July 25, 2013
You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence. Psalm 90:8
Ray Begovich is a journalism professor at Indiana's Franklin College. Ray Begovich is also a very lucky man.
While doing some research at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland, he came across eight seconds of film: a unique eight seconds of film.
The movie snippet shows President Franklin Delano Roosevelt visiting the U.S.S. Baltimore at Pearl Harbor. Neither the visit nor the ship are of special interest. What is unique is this: those eight seconds of film show President Roosevelt being pushed in his wheelchair. According to some experts, this clip may be the only film in existence showing the president in his chair.
While most of our readers know Roosevelt was crippled by polio as a young man, our younger devotioners may not know his condition was almost looked upon as a state secret. For his entire presidency the press cooperated and never showed Roosevelt in his chair or implied he had what was known back then as a "handicapped condition."
Now the reason I share this bit of historical trivia is simple.
It occurs to me that we, like President Roosevelt, may also have some things we wish to keep hidden from others. But, unlike Roosevelt whose condition was nothing shameful, the things we have done are disgraceful, dishonorable and sinful.
Oh, there's one other thing you should know about these shameful, sinful things: you should know every one of them is visible to the Lord. It's true. In our struggles and strivings we may manage to hide our transgressions from those around us, but we can't hide them from the Lord.
He sees what we have done wrong, and He is not pleased. His righteous and understandable displeasure should have led to our eternal damnation. That we are not necessarily destined to hell is due to another of the Lord's attributes. This attribute is not so easily understood.
In His grace the Lord sent His only Son into this world to live, suffer and die for us. Then, showing Jesus' sacrifice had been accepted, He rose from the dead and conquered death. Now, all who are brought to faith in the Savior are forgiven.
Did you hear that? We are forgiven even of those super-secret, hidden sins. This means God's people can paraphrase the Psalmist's words to read: "You have set our iniquities before You and forgiven them, our secret sins in the light of Your presence have been removed."
And that, dear friends, is a joyful message we dare not keep hidden.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for seeing my sins and sending Your Son to win forgiveness I give thanks. May I share that joy with others who still are hiding and carrying their transgressions. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries