Pastor’s Corner Pastor Bruce Zimmerman, pastor, Christ Lutheran Church Gladbrook, Iowa
April 25, 2014
The hero of Victor Hugo’s book “Les Miserables” was an escaped convict. He did not hesitate to steal from anyone. One stormy night a priest welcomed this thief into his home, gave him a meal and bed to sleep in. The thief repaid the priest’s kindness by stealing all his silverware. He didn’t get far, though. The police spotted him sneaking off with his sack of stolen goods. He claimed, however, that the priest had given him the silverware. The police took him back to the priest’s home to check his story. “Is the way you say ‘Thank you’?” the priest said to the thief. “You sneak away during the night without a word. And so careless too. You took the silverware but forgot to take the candlesticks I gave you.” The thief could hardly believe it. Instead of having him arrested, the priest was giving him an expensive gift. That deed of forgiving kindness became the turning point in the thief’s life. He was determined to live a new life, to be like that priest-giving instead of taking. Jesus has treated us with even greater kindness. Not only did he refuse to punish us as we deserve; he gave up his life so that we might have God’s forgiveness. Jesus’ act of kindness has become the great turning point in many people’s lives. It has changed them into people who want to be like Jesus. This is the way God wants it. St. Paul wrote: “Be imitators of God as beloved children. And live in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us...” (Ephesians 5:1-2). Jesus is alive forever for God raised him from the dead so we could live in his name. Do you want to be like Jesus-kind, loving, and forgiving? You can be. Remember Jesus our resurrected Lord and his great act of kindness toward. Remembering this has the power to help you live the Christ-like life.
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