January 20, 2014
(Jesus said) "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.' And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests." Matthew 22:8-10
There are times when a person simply has to be impressed by the commitment and dedication some people show when they want to get in somewhere. For example,
* on Black Friday did you ever get up at the crack of dawn so you could be first in a store and grab some of the really good bargains? That was dedication.
* a few years ago I rode on The Lutheran Hour float at the Rose Bowl. Dick Gast, the fellow who heads up the Petal Pushers, told me it wasn't unusual for folks to camp out along the parade route. They wanted in for a good seat. That was dedication.
* have you ever seen a TV report about a rock concert? Did you watch the newscasters interview people who were willing to wait a week in front of the ticket booth to make sure they got in? That was dedication.
Still, all these people pale in comparison to a Thai woman named Pornkamol Mongkolsermsak. She was caught by the Customs and Border Protection officers as she tried to enter this country at the Mexican border. Now sneaking into the U.S. is nothing new. What is new is that Mongkolsermsak was found curled up in a large suitcase. That's right; she was in a suitcase. Anyone willing to be contorted that way for a long period of time is really, truly dedicated to getting in.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if every person in the world would be equally committed to getting into heaven?
Of course, all of us know we don't need to get up early, or stand in line, or camp out for weeks, or crawl into a suitcase, so we can enter the pearly gates. Those doors are already open to us.
But they are open only because Jesus was dedicated to getting them open.
The Savior spent His entire life -- a life during which He was rejected, despised and misunderstood, so we might be invited in. He endured being beaten, whipped, crowned with thorns, and crucified, so we might have access. His commitment to saving us was all-encompassing and complete.
And because of His perfect commitment we are forgiven and saved.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I could have camped at the doors of heaven for an eternity, but I would never have made it through. I give thanks that only by Jesus' sacrifice has heaven been freely given to me. Now may I be committed to thanking Him. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries