November 3, 2014
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Galatians 1:3-5
Harvard researcher Piotr Naskrecki was in Guyana when he stumbled across a spider the size of a puppy.
His posted pictures of the beastie went viral. His photos were looked at and shared by so many people because such a spider is the kind of thing one usually encounters only in a nightmare. Of course, follow-up stories reassured people they didn't have to worry about Naskrecki's spider sneaking up on them in the middle of the night. That's because Naskrecki, in order to advance scientific knowledge, had captured and humanely killed this exemplary example of the arachnid species called the "Goliath birdeater."
And that's when the story really got interesting.
The story got interesting because people responded to the earthly passing of the spider. Some reactions are, "Did you kill this amazing animal because you have to own it?" Another person's e-mail suggested someone in Naskrecki's family should die, while others suggested they would be happy to capture and kill Naskrecki ... for scientific study.
All of this goes to show that sometimes we humans can get our priorities mixed up.
Years ago I read how, in a period of a week, a homeless man, a train maintenance worker, and a dog were killed on New York's subway tracks. Ninety people telephoned the Transit Authority about the dog; three called about the worker; nobody called about the homeless man.
The bottom line is a human life is worth more than that of a dog or a Goliath birdeater spider.
Now if you agree with the above statement (and I hope you do), you will realize that while the life of God's sinless Son is worth infinitely more than the lives of the billions of people who have ever lived, God sent His Son into this world as the payment price to win our salvation.
It's true, it's amazing, and it is grace that brought Jesus into this world to give His life as a ransom which, when fully paid, forgave our sins and moved us from hell to heaven. So we might be saved, Jesus was reviled, ridiculed and railroaded to the cross. It was unfair, but it was God's plan which has saved us.
All of which means we need to have some proper priorities, and that means leading our lives as a hymn of thanksgiving for the Christ who gave His life for our redemption.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I cannot begin to understand why You would send Your Son to live, die and rise for me. This is why I am humbled by Your love and in awe of His commitment to rescue me. May my life reflect that gratitude. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries