Psalm 107:1-3a - Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever! Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands ....
Like many teenagers, Johnny Crow liked music. A good tune put his sadness back into perspective.
Unlike many teens, Crow was not just content to listen to music; he liked to make music, too. His instrument of choice: the guitar. His model of preference was a Dean Razorback electric guitar, an instrument which sells for about $300 on Amazon. Unfortunately, Crow was not able to afford such an instrument and had to make his music with a lesser vehicle.
Understand, Crow never stopped campaigning and petitioning for his dream guitar. He and his father often joked about the possibility of purchasing a new instrument. Still, when all was said and done, it was the old instrument that continued to be used.
Sadly, guitars had to be put on the backburner when his father died of a heart attack in April. It was a black time for Crow. Even his 16th birthday didn't have the fun and focus of previous years.
That changed the day his sister took him to the music store.
When they arrived the entire staff of the store gathered together and made a special presentation. Yep, you guessed it: they handed a brand-new Dean Razorback guitar to the shocked young man.
Was it a gift from his sister, the staff of the music store, or from an anonymous donor? Nope.
The donor of the guitar was none other than Crow's father. In January, months before he died, his dad had gone to the music store and purchased the guitar for his son. Thinking of his gift, and through his tears, Crow said, "I was definitely overjoyed that my father gave me one last thing to remember him by. I know a lot of kids don't get that."
When it comes to earthly fathers, Crow is right on the mark. On the other hand, that is most definitely not true when it comes to gifts from our Heavenly Father.
After the fall into sin, our Father took a good hard look at his fallen and damned children. Seeing us suffering in this life and condemned to eternal death in the next, He took pity on us and decided to give us a gift.
No, it wasn't necessarily the gift we wanted, but it most definitely was the gift we needed. The gift the Lord presented to this sad and sorrowful world was the present of His Son. Purely out of His own divine goodness and mercy, the Lord sent His Son into this world to be our substitute.
Born in Bethlehem, Jesus spent His entire life doing what we could not do: accomplishing those things that were beyond us. He fulfilled the laws we had broken; He resisted the temptations which we found so beguiling and, without complaint, He died the death that was our due.
At Jesus' empty tomb all of humanity is offered God's gift of forgiveness and life eternal.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks for Your gift of forgiveness and salvation, which removes our sorrow and sadness and fills us with hope. Although this gift was neither earned nor asked for, may my heart always be appreciative of Your great grace. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Arden Dier for Newser on June 9, 2017. Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written. Please click here
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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