November 7, 2013
... the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:7b-9
I know Halloween is past, but this is a story I had to share.
It begins with nine-year-old Jaiden Newcomer of York, Pennsylvania, who won a 100-pound pumpkin by guessing its weight.
Sadly, that pumpkin, which the family displayed on its porch, was stolen by some pitiful, pathetic pumpkin purloiners.
While you and I might take the theft of our unguarded pumpkin with dignity, Newcomer, who intended to use the pumpkin to make pies for the needy, was heartbroken. The story of the boy and his stolen pumpkin was carried in the York Dispatch and picked up by various news agencies.
The end result was the following Sunday the pumpkin was returned by the thief to the family's porch.
On the pumpkin was an anonymous note which read: "I'm really sorry about taking your pumpkin, it was wrong of me, you earned the pumpkin, I didn't think my actions through nor realize who they were affecting. Sincerest apologies."
In the religious world, when somebody uses the words "sorry" and "it was wrong," we call that a confession. But what intrigued me most about the admission of guilt was when the ex-thief said, "I didn't think my actions through nor realize who they were affecting."
Truly, every one of us could say the same thing about ourselves. Now we may not be pumpkin thieves, but all of us have done wrong things without thinking about the results of our actions. When Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit, they weren't thinking of how their actions would upset the perfect relationship they enjoyed with their Maker. They never gave any consideration as to how what they were doing would hurt generations yet unborn.
Nope, they listened to the tempter, took a look at the fruit, saw it was pleasing to the eye, and they ate. The results that day were catastrophic. Adam and Eve didn't think, and if they did think, they thought wrongly.
Every day you and I do the same with our disobedience, disloyalty and defiance.
Thankfully, because Jesus has paid the price for our sins, we are given forgiveness. When Jesus becomes our Lord and Savior our transgressions are removed, and we are able to stand before the Lord as forgiven souls. All of this means, our story, like that of Jaiden Newcomer, ends most happily.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I confess my wrongdoing and waywardness. As I rejoice in my forgiveness, grant me the ability to think about the consequences of sins before they are committed. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries