So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone. Ephesians 2:19-20
Long ago, when our three children were young, we were returning from a two-week vacation to the West. The Lord had given us safe travel, and we had had a wonderful time. Understandably, we were sorry to see it all end. Maybe that's why, rather than pushing and driving the last 150-miles we stopped and stayed at a Holiday Inn... with a swimming pool.
As Pam and I watched our children splash away, we found ourselves talking with another couple, another couple who was also returning home. Both those parents spoke of short tempers, continuous arguments, ongoing complaints, and how glad they were to get back. Pam asked how long they had been on the road. With a heavy sigh, they told us: "We have been gone from home three days."
How sad. A loving, caring and supportive family is one of the best gifts the Lord has given us.
This is why I was surprised to hear about what happened to Yuma Hasegawa on October 4, 2015, when he turned 20. That day, Hasegawa received a beautifully wrapped envelope from his parents. Inside was a gift, a letter entitled, "Notice of Expiration of Child-Rearing Services."
Reading on, Hasegawa's parents encouraged him to be a good citizen like they were. That meant he should pay into his retirement account, not drive while intoxicated, discuss his future wife with them, and fork up $168 a month for rent. He was also informed that if he came to them for a loan, he would have to pay them interest. They concluded, "Please enjoy your life as an adult."
I'm pretty sure that Pam and I have not given such a letter to our children.
I'm absolutely sure that the Triune God has never given such a note to humanity.
Now I say that most seriously. You see, the Lord could have taken a look at His sinful, disobedient children and written them off. He could have said, "Look, you folks want to be independent; you want to live your lives and eternity without Me? Great! You go ahead. Yes, you go ahead, but I'm pretty sure you're not going to like it."
Yes, the Lord could have written us off and walked away. But He didn't.
Instead, He turned to Adam and Eve and said, "You know, in spite of what you've done here, I'm going to send My Son to be your Savior."
As the centuries passed, our Heavenly Father filled in more of the details on what this Savior would do and how He would be treated. In fact, He became quite specific, even telling us where He would be born and many of the details about how He would be rejected and murdered.
He also let us know that His Son, having carried our sins and having fulfilled the Law, would conquer death so that all who believe on Him might be saved.
In other words, they would once again be adopted into His family of faith.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that Your love is greater than my sin. For Your Son, my Savior, I give thanks and in His Name I offer up this prayer. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries