TITLE: The Sacrifice Which Saves
DATE: December 5, 2018
TEXT: Joel 2:13 | ESV And rend your hearts and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster.
How do you handle things when someone, especially a relative or friend, does you wrong?
I certainly hope you do better than the mother-daughter pair who live in Italy. These two, who live together, have been in a two-year battle with each other. From court records I can tell you that this battle has been escalating.
Here is the problem: the daughter is a vegan and the mother is not.
When the daughter moved back in with her mother a few years back, the daughter told her mom, “I have for a long time avoided sensory and olfactory contact with animal products.” Now I can understand how you wouldn’t eat animal products… but I have no idea how you can get along without smelling them.
And “smelling” animal products seems to be the problem for this pair.
You see, the mom, being both Italian, and being a mother, loves to cook. She especially loves to cook her specialty: Bolognese meat sauce… a fabulous concoction which, if prepared properly takes hours and hours of simmer time and produces a smell which permeates every corner of the home with wonderful, mouth-watering odors.
“Wonderful and mouth watering” as long as you aren’t a vegan who avoids olfactory contact with animal products.
So you see the problem. It seems to me there ought be all kinds of ways to achieve resolution. The daughter could move out; the mom could cook only on certain days when the daughter might disappear. Mom could cook at a friend’s house; she could use meat substitutes. As I say, there are all kinds of alternatives.
The daughter decided to use one I haven’t listed. What she did was this: she started by saying, “If you won’t stop on your own, I’ll make you stop!” Then she picked up a knife and gave the ultimatum, “Quit making meat sauce, or I’ll stab you in the stomach!”
Apparently the daughter’s love for all things living doesn’t include her Mom. At any rate, the case ended in court and the daughter was fined $1,000 for finding a better way to make peace.
All of which leads me to ask, “Have you ever noticed, when the Lord sees some serious sinners doing their misdeeds He never says, “Quit it or I’m going to stab you in the stomach.” Now there are times when the Lord very directly and very deliberately condemns a certain sin; but I’ve never heard Him say, “Quit it, or I’m going to stab you in the stomach.”
Instead of punishing sin the Lord prefers to forgive it.
That is why, immediately after our first parents sinned, God provided His promise to send His Son into the world where He would do all which was necessary to win our forgiveness and grant us eternal life.
Thousands of years passed by between the promise made and the promise fulfilled. During that time the Lord provided more and more detail to help us identify Jesus when He came; to help us appreciate all the sacrifices He would need to make so our souls might be washed and made free from any stain of sin. Which is how it came to pass, in a Bethlehem manger. on a Jerusalem cross and at an empty tomb, we can see the fulfillment of that promise, and rejoice that salvation is ours.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may I always thank You for the Savior’s sacrifice which saves. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Today’s devotion was inspired by various articles, amongst which is the one written by the editors at Andrews Mcmeel Syndication November 13, 2018 . Those who wish may check out this link which was, at the time of writing, fully active:
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html