July 13, 2015
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18
There are all kinds of names for the Sunday after Easter. One of those names is "Pascha clausum," meaning the closing of Easter. Another name is "St. Thomas Sunday." That name refers to Sunday's reading, which speaks of Thomas' encounter with the risen Redeemer. For other, obvious reasons, I always referred to the Sunday after Easter as "Poor Attendance Sunday."
If you are a lover of tradition you will relish the Latin name for the Sunday after Easter: "Quasimodo geniti." That name is a reference to the introit for the day which begins, "As newborn babies ...."
Some of you working with this Daily Devotion may have been jolted to see the name Quasimodo. Yes, you're right. Quasimodo is the name of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In Victor Hugo's story, as well as in numerous movie presentations, the deformed baby is left at the great church on Quasimodo Sunday, and he is christened with that name.
So there you know all that any person needs to know about Quasimodo ... except for the ten-year-old pit bull-Dutch shepherd hunchbacked dog that carries that name.
Quasi Modo has a shortened-spine birth defect, which has made him into a bit of a hunchback. This year Quasi Modo has captured the prize of $1,500 and has won the title: "World's Ugliest Dog." Competing in Petaluma, California, Quasi Modo managed to best 25 other dogs, including an intensely ugly Chinese crested hairless-Chihuahua.
And if you're wondering just how ugly Quasi Modo is, I can share that it took a special person to see Quasi Modo's inner beauty and rescue him from an animal shelter, where he had been dropped off by his previous, unappreciative owners. Quasi Modo is so ugly some have run from him because they thought he was a hyena or a Tasmanian devil.
Yes, Quasi Modo is ugly, and so are we.
Because of the spiritual birth defect of original sin, we were not the perfect people God had intended. But there's a difference between us and Quasi Modo. The World's Ugliest Dog is gentle, kind, loving and caring. In spite of his exterior, Quasi Modo has a beautiful interior.
That's not us. The ugliness of sinful disobedience touched our every aspect.
But for a reason known only to Him, the Lord still managed to love ugly us. Not only did He love us, He wanted to adopt us. To do that, He sent His Son to take our ugly sins unto Himself. This Jesus did, and when He gave up the ghost on Calvary's cross, He took our sins with Him.
Now, as adopted members of God's household of faith, we are rescued, redeemed and saved. In short we are transformed and made beautiful by the Savior's work and the Holy Spirit's nurture.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that I may rejoice in the transformation that has come about in me because of the Savior's sacrifice. As one of Your forgiven children, may I point others to Your love and grace. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries