"Best Gift "
June 11, 2017
Romans 15:13 - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our international ministry centers to write our Sunday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
In many places of Brazil we have the beautiful tradition of bringing a gift to a person when we visit them in the hospital.
In Pelotas, the city where I live, we usually gather a group of volunteers to bring gifts to a large number of patients, their families, and hospital employees. We try to do this on special dates such as Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day, and Father's Day. We usually go to the same special hospital.
The hospital is special for a number of reasons. First, at this hospital most of the people are extremely poor and have come because they have a serious illness like cancer. But the hospital is also special because the doctor here does not charge for his services and he works only with those people who have no medical insurance.
On one of these gift-giving visits we met Tereza.
We went into her room, handing out presents on Easter week. While there we had an excellent visit. Tereza shared that she had been hospitalized for several months. "I've always been healthy," she said. "Suddenly my life was changed! And not just my life; my sickness has changed the lives of the whole family."
When we were about to leave, she called me over and said, "It's Easter time and I've already received several gifts here at the hospital. Some of them were very special, but one stands out above the rest. During this long hospital stay there have been times I needed hope. Last week this was given to me."
As she spoke, Tereza showed me a booklet from The Lutheran Hour, which she had received. This little book, entitled, Message of Hope for the Sick, had brought her comfort, encouragement, and hope, during an especially difficult time.
That day Tereza taught us a number of things.
She taught us that many people can give gifts. But Christians, through the Word of the Lord, are able to give the best gift of all: the hope we have in Jesus Christ.
She taught us that when we are giving someone a gift we should give something that can change that person's life forever. That is why we always try to bring hope! That hope may come in a booklet or in the personal sharing of the joyful salvation story.
Whichever way the gift is given, we rejoice in sharing the message of Christ with simplicity and joy. We are glad to give the gift which says there is relief for our faults, consolation for our sufferings, and eternal life for those who believe in the God of hope.
THE PRAYER: Dear God, when we face changes in life, may Your love in Jesus give us comfort and strength. In Jesus' Name we ask it. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Pastor Adelar Munieweg. Pastor Munieweg is married to Miriam and they live in Pelotas, Brazil, with their son and daughter. For nine years, he has served as chaplain in eight hospitals in Pelotas. There he has often used Lutheran Hour Ministries' literature materials to bring comfort to people in need.
In this large South American country of more than 200 million people, Lutheran Hour Ministries-Brazil is known in-country as Hora Luterana and has its ministry center in São Paulo. It was first established in 1947. Today LHM-Brazil reaches out to Brazilians through social media and by a daily radio program, Five Minutes with Jesus. A voice-mail service, Messages of Hope, utilizes audio messages and is distributed via e-mail as well. Another resource for Brazilians is a weekly "live" online Bible study. This ministry center also utilizes Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops to train volunteers in sharing the Gospel. Another resource is the "Chaplaincy with Jesus" project, which coordinates its work with various chaplaincy programs throughout Brazil, ministering to individuals in prisons and hospitals.
Be sure to check out LHM's International Ministries' blog page. You can find it by clicking here.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries