September 27, 2015
(The Lord said) "Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you." Isaiah 49:15
Recently, I received an invitation to come to a class reunion.
Some of you cringe at the thought of going back, and others look forward to such an event with anticipation. Before I sent back my reply, I took a look at the class secretary's request for addresses. It appears there are about 30 names of old classmates whose whereabouts are unknown. Looking at that list, I started thinking I wonder what's happened to them? I wonder how they've done. Have they been happy or sad, wildly or moderately successful?
It was interesting remembering those who once were close to me, but who have drifted away.
Or, maybe I was the one who did the drifting. There were no, as I remember it, formal goodbyes or tearful partings. We just stopped seeing each other, calling each other, writing to each other. Each of us, quite unceremoniously, went our different ways. Yes, I wonder now what happened to them.
Do you think God ever feels that way? Does the Lord ever wonder what happened to people? By that I mean there were a lot of people who were baptized in a church, but they haven't been back since then. There were numerous people who, in confirmation, promised to be "faithful until death." That was the promise, but then some of these promisers weren't even faithful the following week.
Does God ever wonder what happened to them? Is the Triune God ever curious about what events occurred, what things were said, what obstacle was put in their path, which stopped them from remaining faithful in worship?
No, I guess God doesn't have to wonder about us, does He? When You are all-knowing like He is, I suppose those kinds of things, like everything else, are self-evident. Even so, I imagine there must be times when the heavenly host is surprised at the reasons people use to drift away and lose track of the Lord.
And that's sad.
It's always sad when someone goes to a lot of work to pick out a present that is exactly what a loved one needs and that person doesn't acknowledge the gift. It's sad when someone pays a lot for a unique, one-of-a-kind present that goes ignored. It's sad when someone donates an organ so another person can live and the recipient of that gift seems totally untouched.
Yes, there must be times when the Lord is saddened because He did give us the Gift we needed. Jesus gave us the gift nobody else would offer, and He donated His life so that we might be forgiven and live forever in that place where sin, sorrow and sadness have been banished.
Yes, it must be sad.
But there is good news. It doesn't have to be that way. The Heavenly Father is ready for the return of all those who have forgotten or ignored Him. He is ready, willing and able to see them again.
Because of Jesus, He is ready.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we give thanks that You never forget us. Now we ask that You will keep us in the family of faith, perpetually grateful to You. In the Name of the Savior I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries