"Showing Respect "
February 28, 2017
Revelation 7:11-12 - And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen."
Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. As a result, the Daily Devotioners will be receiving the online version of the excellent Lenten Devotions: From the Cradle to the Empty Grave. I will be returning on Tuesday, April 18.
Respect, that's a word and a concept, which has fallen out of favor.
Respect. Watch the evening news and keep tabs on what you see. Almost always the reports will begin with a lack of respect. There's the video footage of a mangled car where someone decided to disrespect the railroad crossing's flashing lights, ringing bells, and descending crossbuck barriers. There is also the story of the latest terrorist bombing where some religious fanatic has decided that his point of view is so important that he has a mandate to disrespect and destroy the lives of innocent men, women and children.
Those tragedies have one thing in common. They are all accounts that show no respect.
Most of our Daily Devotions folk will not argue when I suggest that today respect is in serious and short supply. Most of us remember President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who was crippled by polio. No matter what you think of him as a leader, it must be conceded that he waged a heroic fight against that disease.
The media of his day respected that battle.
Although Roosevelt served as president longer than any other man, and was unable to walk, unaided during that entire time, there are only two known pictures of him in a wheelchair. Today, let a leader fall, become sick, or stumble in a speech, and a disrespectful press will gleefully gloat and splash the story across its front pages. It will suggest we judge that entire individual on the basis of that slip or stumble.
I imagine it's not the first time in history that respect hasn't, well, been respected. Here's what an observer of society once said: "... our youths love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority -- they show disrespect for their elders and love to chatter in places of exercise .... Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households."
Do you agree? Well, that was said by Socrates, the Athenian philosopher. He said those words almost 2,500 years ago. You see, lack of respect is nothing new. In fact, if you think about it, when Adam and Eve decided they knew better than God and ate the forbidden fruit, that choice was motivated by a lack of respect.
In contrast to those who elevate themselves, Christians should be different.
Because of the Savior's sacrifice, because we have been moved from darkness to light, because we have been forgiven, restored and redeemed, we should always show respect to the Lord. We ought to join our voices with those who stand before the heavenly throne and say, "Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord when I speak Your Name, may it be done with honor and respect. May all around me know the gratitude I have for all You have done for me. This I ask in my Redeemer's Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries