May 5, 2014
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another .... Hebrews 10:24-25a
Generally speaking, you don't have to tell people who are in love that they are supposed to spend time together. You don't have to tell them because being together is normal and natural.
Indeed, it would be weird if an in-love couple didn't want to spend time with each other.
Of course, there aren't many people who spend as much time together as did Helen and Kenneth Felumlee. Let me tell you a bit about the pair. They started off risky. By that I mean, when Helen and Kenneth were teenagers they lied to their parents and said they were going to visit an old high school coach. They skipped the coach, went to visit the justice of the peace. Still, it took the pair a few weeks before they could work up the courage to tell their folks they were hitched.
After that little speed bump, things got back to normal for Helen and Kenneth. When I say normal, I mean they spent time together. When they were on an overnight ferry with upper and lower bunk accommodations, they cuddled together in the lower. They held hands while they ate their breakfast. They had eight children, a gaggle of grandchildren, and saw most of the United States together. Does that sound unremarkable?
How do you feel if I tell you Kenneth and Helen did their togetherness thing for 70 years?
Last month, on a Saturday morning, Helen died. She passed from this life to be with her Savior at the age of 92. Fifteen hours later, Kenneth, who was 91, joined her. Their daughter, Linda says, "He was ready. He just didn't want to leave her here by herself." Looking back, Linda added, "She was staying strong for Dad, and he was staying strong for her. That's what kept them going."
Truly, you don't have to tell people in love that they should spend time together.
And that is the thought which takes me to the subject of this devotion. I have often wondered why so many Christians never feel a need to go to church, or take Communion, or reach out to the unbelieving world, or provide support for the other members of their congregation. Over the years I have heard many excuses. Some of those excuses like, "I have to take care of my invalid mother so dad can go to church" were not bad; most were just plain lame.
The truth is if you love someone, nobody has to convince you to spend time with that individual. That is especially so when that Someone happens to be the Savior.
Although Scripture is silent about any discussion which took place in heaven, I see nothing to indicate Jesus had to be "talked into" coming to earth to rescue and redeem us. The Heavenly Father didn't have to spend thousands of years convincing Jesus to be born in Bethlehem. What we do know is this, "When the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son" (see Galatians 4:4). Jesus came into a world that would hate Him, mock Him, and ultimately crucify Him. Even though He knew what was in store for Him, Jesus loves us and that love meant He came to earth to see, seek and save us.
That's what You do when You are God's Son entrusted with rescuing humanity from sin, death and devil. Now the question is what will we do for Jesus if we love Him?
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for Your love and the Savior's visit to earth to save us, I give thanks. Now make, mold and model my love so that, as much as is possible, it reflects the care and kindness Your grace has given me. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries