"An Extra Kiss"
1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 - For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Even now, nobody seems to know what caused Scott Kologi to murder his parents, his sister, and a 70-year-old family friend this past New Year's Eve.
One of the survivors of the family catastrophe is Scott's older brother, Steven Kologi, Jr. Understandably, Steven has been devastated by his loss and he, like many in his age group, turned to Facebook to share his feelings. Some of his thoughts are reminiscences of past good times with the entire family, which will never come again.
Among the many things Steven has said might be mentioned:
• (Mom and dad were) "the greatest parents I could ask for."
• "They made sure Christmas came every year although they struggled financially. I cannot even describe the type of people they were, so just believe me when I say how great they were."
• "Never once was I without a hot meal or a roof over my head."
But there's more. Steven has reached into himself and done some serious self-evaluating. He has spoken freely of his regrets. Those are the things I would like you to hear. For example, he has said, "I just wish I could tell all of them how much they meant to me and how much I truly loved each and every one of them because I didn't do that enough."
Indeed, that seems to be a theme in Steven's writings. At the end of one Facebook sharing, he encouraged people "to give the ones you love an extra kiss or 'I love you.'"
Over the years, I cannot tell you the number of times I have heard mourning families speak of how they had intended to say, "I love you" to the deceased, but had forgotten; or schedules had gotten busy; or it just didn't seem the right time; or they weren't sure how it would be received; or they hadn't yet made peace over an old conflict, or ....
There are hundreds of reasons not to say, "I love you."
I can think of only four reasons to share your heart's feelings with those who are or should be special:
1. We who are recipients of the Lord's love, forgiveness, and salvation have a wonderful opportunity to share that love with others. You remember, "We love because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19).
2. We do it because we need to say it.
3. We do it because they need to hear it.
4. We do it because we never know when the last opportunity to say those words may come.
As Steven said, "And please, please, please remember to give the ones you love an extra kiss or 'I love you.'"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, every aspect of Your life has shown us how much You love us. Now may we, as best we are able, reflect some of that love to those around us. This we ask in Your Name. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by Danika Fearfs on January 1, 2018 for the New York Post. 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: click here.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
Today's Bible Readings: Job 36-37 Matthew 15:1-20
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