This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalms 118:24
When my children were growing up, they all read the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
If you've never read the books, you may remember the television series which, as much as any program can, tried to depict the life and struggles of the Ingalls family in Walnut Grove, Minnesota.
Whether you read the books or watched the series, you might well have found yourself wishing you could have lived way back in the 1800s when life was good and wholesome, simple and far more peaceful.
If a return to the good, old days is something for which you long, I am afraid this devotion may pop your balloon and burst your bubble.
I say that because, later this fall, the South Dakota State Historical Society Press is going to release Laura Ingalls Wilder's other book: Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography (PGTAA). PGTAA is the book which Ms. Wilder wrote before she penned the Little House books.
It is the autobiography she was never able to get published.
And you can believe me when I say there probably was a reason why that book never made it to the presses.
You see, PGTAA is a pretty honest volume. It speaks of domestic abuse, broken love triangles, and a man who lit himself on fire when he was drunk. The editor of the new book says people will get to see "the real family behind Wilder's fictionalized accounts."
That's the editor's way of saying the world in the 1800s was not a perfect place. On the contrary, it had its own share of pains and problems, hurts and horrors.
And it also means something else.
On a spiritual level it means every country, in every century, has always needed a Savior. Sin and suffering are not unique to our time. These nasty things are part and parcel of the sinful human condition.
To provide light and life, forgiveness and salvation, Jesus came into this world. Through His life, suffering, death and resurrection, the Savior paid the penalty price our sins had deserved and did all that was necessary so our present and our eternal future might be changed for the better.
Now, by God's grace, the Holy Spirit acts and calls us to our Redeemer. There, at the foot of the cross and before the empty tomb, we are blessed to find the good, old days are any time when we are in the company of the Savior.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks my life and my days have been touched and blessed by the redemption won by Your Son, my Savior. May I share Him with all those who find themselves longing for the peace which can only come through Jesus' sacrifice. In His Name I pray. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries