Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25
It was 1938 and Nicholas Winton was a 29-year-old clerk at the London Stock Exchange.
When a friend asked him to cancel a ski trip and travel instead to Czechoslovakia, he was shocked to see the great influx of refugees who were fleeing the Nazi army. Winton was encouraged to hear that there were groups back in England who were helping the Jewish intelligentsia and Communist leaders get to safety.
Further inquiry told him there were no such organizations offering assistance to Jewish children.
Adopting the project as his own, Winton persuaded the British government to accept children if there was someone who would welcome them into their homes, and they had $50 to get the youngsters back to their families after the war.
There was only a limited time before the War took on global proportions. During that time, Winton managed to get 669 children out of Europe. He would have managed another 250 more, but the train on which those children were to leave was stopped when England joined the war. Almost none of the 250 children on that train survived the concentration camps.
Winton never spoke of what he had accomplished for those children. Indeed, his work only came to light when his wife found the children's papers in the attic. Credit for what Winton had done came from the British and Czech Republic. Even so, he declined to be called a "hero."
Looking at the story of Sir Nicholas Winton, who died last month at the age of 106, I personally think "hero" is too weak a word. Maybe "savior," with a small "s" would be more appropriate.
Sir Winton truly was a savior. He reached out in love to save the lives of others. Even so, his work, as valuable as it was, is a small thing when it is compared to the world's Savior, Jesus Christ. Our Savior, with a capital "S," entered this world for the express purpose of offering up His life for adults and children. To Him it made no difference. Adult or child -- Jew or Gentile -- man or woman, they all needed saving.
Through His sacrifice and eternity-changing resurrection, the world has been changed.
Actually, I could say "my life and your life have been changed." Because of the Savior my children are saved and destined for heaven. The same can be said for my grandchildren and my parents and grandparents, who are already there.
Hundreds, thousands, millions, billions of souls have been rescued from certain death because of the work of one Man: Jesus Christ, God's Son, the world's only Savior.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, the world has men and women who have done great things and made greater sacrifices. Still, help me remember that Your Son has done for humanity what only He could do: He gave His life as the price for our ransom. May we honor Him and all that He has done. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries