Pastor Ralph J. Mineo, St. Luke's Lutheran Church
A man called the highway department to complain about the condition of the road in front of his house. He kept calling and calling, complaining about the potholes and bumps. The highway department did nothing. Finally after persistent calls a promise was given: "Something would be done." After a few days a sign was posted "Rough Road Ahead." That was it! That was all that would get done!
Believers know that God, in Christ, does better than post a sign. God does better than give us words on pages in a book. God gives us salvation. We do well to prepare for that salvation. We do well to live as if salvation means something to us -- real action, not just a sign.
An old man out for a walk one day noticed a boy carrying a rusty old bird cage. "What have you got there, son?"
"Just some old birds," he said.
"What are you gonna do with them?"
"Take 'em home and have fun with 'em. Maybe tease 'em and pull out their feathers to make 'em fight. I'm gonna have a real good time."
"But you'll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?"
"Oh, I got me some cats. They like birds."
The man asked, "How much do you want for those birds?"
"Ah, you don't want them birds, mister. They're just sparrows. They don't even sing."
"How much?" he asked.
The boy blurted out, "Ten bucks!" The man gave him a $10 bill, and in a flash the boy was gone.
The old man carried the cage to an alley with a tree and some grass, opened the door, and set the birds free.
One day Jesus met Satan carrying a trap and boasting. "What do you have there, you old trickster?"
"I just caught a world full of people. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn't resist, and got 'em all!"
"What will you do with them now?" Jesus asked.
"Oh, I'm gonna have fun! I'm gonna teach them how to hate and abuse each other, how to make war and bombs, kill each other, divorce each other. I'm gonna have me some fun!"
"Then what will you do?" asked Jesus.
"I'll kill 'em," said Satan.
"How much do you want for them?"
"Oh, you don't want them. They're no good. They'll just hate you, spit on you, curse you, reject you, maybe even kill you. You don't want those people!"
"How much?" said Jesus.
Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, "All your tears, all your blood, your life!"
Jesus paid that price for us. Later on he picked up the cage (the prison of our lives), and opened the door and set us free!
We do well to be daily thankful for this GIFT and SACRIFICE of salvation! We might examine our life with a few questions: what's wrong in my life right now? Where do I need to be set free? What potholes of my life need to be straightened out?
God didn't send a posted notice. God sent Christ Jesus as our salvation. It's time again to give thanks!!!