September 29, 2014
But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:17-18
The father of 16-year-old Noah Cornuet was an Eagle Scout.
He was sincerely proud of his son when the teen also began work toward that prestigious honor. One after another the requirements were checked off as Cornuet struggled toward achieving a goal, which is accomplished by less than four percent of the world's scouts. Finally, the end was in sight. Cornuet had to finish his restoration work at Puckety Presbyterian Church in Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania, and then his endeavors would be sent to the review board for approval.
As I said, the end was in sight. It was in sight, but Noah Cornuet never got there.
He never will.
Cornuet collapsed after high school football practice. He collapsed and died: the victim of a rare heart tumor.
Now that should have been the sad and regrettable end of the story. Cornuet had tried and failed.
That's the way life sometimes is ... sometimes, but not this time. You see, a few weeks ago Cornuet's friends, family members, and fellow Scouts came together and finished all the work he had wanted to accomplish at Puckety Presbyterian. Then, with the work having been completed, they petitioned the review board to grant him the rank of Eagle Scout posthumously.
That's a great story about people caring and doing work for a loved one. It's a story which ought to apply to Christianity. In fact it does apply, twice.
Story 1 - No matter how hard we humans tried to justify ourselves before God, we couldn't do it. Both temporally and eternally we were dead. But the Triune God loved us enough to do something about our lost condition. God's Son, Jesus Christ, came into this world and did all the work we could not. He fulfilled the Law for us; He resisted temptation for us; He carried our sins, and died our death. Now, because of the work Jesus did on our behalf, all who believe on Him as Savior have been awarded forgiveness and been given life eternal in heaven.
Story 2 - Jesus Christ came into this world and did everything to save humanity. After His resurrection He showed Himself to many people on many occasions. The last time He physically spoke to His followers, He asked them to do some work. In His absence they were to take the story of salvation to all the world. They were to go, teach, preach, baptize. Today, 2,000 years later, those believers who love their Savior are doing the work for Him that He requested. They are, as Lutheran Hour Ministries says, "Bringing Christ to the Nations."
Yes, all three stories are good ones. I know how the story of the Savior's sacrifice turned out, and the other two, well, those are still being written, aren't they?
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You have done what we could not. Now we pray Your blessing and the Holy Spirit's power to accomplish that which You have asked. This I pray in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Check out Lutheran Hour Ministries' video sermon series, "Footsteps of Paul." Click here!
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries