Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my Gospel. 2 Timothy 2:8
We are in the church season of Advent. Advent is a time during which we repent of the sins that brought Jesus into the world. Advent is a time of spiritual preparation and waiting.
Waiting. Some people are better at waiting than others. For example, there are two ladies in Beaumont, California, who could easily make the Olympic Waiting Team. Their names are Vicky Torres and Juanita Salas. These ladies, supported by Juanita's husband, Jacob, think nothing of waiting weeks for an event, which they consider to be of prime importance.
Now, before I go further, I should tell you that this year, Torres and Salas weren't waiting to remember the Savior's coming or to prepare for His Judgment Day return. No, these women were waiting for Black Friday, that special day after Thanksgiving when stores reduce their prices and offer some of the year's best sales.
This year Torres and Salas waited in front of the local Best Buy store.
For three weeks Torres and Salas waited in that line in front of Best Buy. Now I use the term "in line" rather loosely, since there was nobody in line ahead of or behind them. Torres and Salas took turns waiting at night; they waited together during the day, and if they had to visit the washroom at the same time, husband Jacob guarded their place.
If you asked them, "Why do you do such a thing?" they would tell you it was because Black Friday is a good thing where you can get something very special for a very small price.
You have to appreciate that kind of commitment, that kind of dedication.
Of course, somebody could tell them about their local church. There they can receive the best that life has to offer, because there they can be told of how God's Son came into this world to give His life to save them from their sins. But there's more. They could also be told how Jesus did all that was necessary to save them and because He has risen from the dead, salvation is now a gift the Lord offers without cost or charge.
All the Daily Devotioners would agree the Lord is offering something of immense value here. Still, in all the years I was in the parish, I can never remember anyone who showed up at the beginning of December to hear a Christmas sermon on the 25th. Nobody ever showed up during the last weeks of Lent so he might be first in line to hear a Resurrection Sunday message, which was going to be preached three weeks later.
I imagine that never happened because a person doesn't have to wait to hear about Jesus' victory and the gift of eternal life God gives. Christmas and Resurrection may come once a year, but the story of Jesus and the gift the Holy Spirit gives is not something for which you have to wait.
Like God's love, it is there 24/7/365.
And for that ongoing grace, we ought to always be grateful.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may I be truly appreciative of Your Son who has won my salvation. May the fact that forgiveness and eternal life are readily available never make me less appreciative or grateful. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries