Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Many years ago, back when I was in the parish, I was preaching that we are saved by God's grace and not works. Unfortunately, I was living my life as if the congregation was going to be saved by my works alone.
I put in 15-18 hour days, thinking I was serving God by skipping days off and vacations.
At that time, we had in our church pews, some cards. One side of the card was meant to be filled out by visitors, the other side by someone from the congregation who had a pastoral need.
One Sunday, one of the elders, that is, one of the lay leaders, came in chuckling.
He handed me one of the cards that had been filled out on both sides. Both sides had requested a visit from me, the pastor. I put it in my pocket to be referred to later. The elder stopped me, saying, "I think you need to take a closer look at this one, Pastor." I did. The card had my address; my phone number; and my daughter's name.
Our daughter, Kirsten, was requesting a call from her pastor: from me, her father.
At home I asked her why she had filled out the card, and she said, "Daddy, I don't get to see you anymore. I know you call on the people who send in a card, so I thought I could get you to call on me."
Her mother, who had watched the whole thing develop, gave me a smile which also said, "You'd better take a closer look at this one."
That day I understood what my daughter was saying. After that our home life changed -- permanently and for the better.
The same sort of thing happens when people take a look at our reference passage for today: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
Yes, I know you've heard that passage many times before, but now, I think you might want to take a closer look at this one.
When the Holy Spirit gives us faith in the Savior, things change. By God's grace we come to know Jesus is our Savior. We understand the high cost He paid for our rescue.
And then, believing, we are changed.
From then on we can cast our cares upon the Christ; we can come to Him with our prayers and our petitions; we can sleep securely knowing every sin has been forgiven; we can look past grief and grave and see a reunion, which comes to all who believe.
The list of changes goes on and on. No aspect of our life is untouched. And, if you haven't experienced that to be true, maybe it's time to take a better look at this one.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, change me. Let me experience all the freedom and joy Jesus has won for me through His gracious sacrifice. May my life be transformed to one of peace and happiness. In the Savior's Name I pray it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries