Chappy’s corner: Deliver us from evil

The only costume Ole could get at the store was a red devil’s outfit complete with a plastic spear. In his costume he headed out into the country to the Halloween party, but it was a dark and stormy night and Ole became lost.  He happened to see a building with lights on and lots of cars parked around it. Thinking this was the place he went up to the door and saw the sign that said, “First Lutheran Church”.  Knowing the party wasn’t there, he was about to turn around when suddenly there was  a big rush of wind that blew the church doors wide open, and then a sudden crack of thunder followed by a flash of lightening. The church members saw the doors open, the lightening flash and the crack of thunder, and then they saw the devil at the back of the door. All at once they screamed in panic and ran out of the building, the only one who didn’t was an elderly 84 year old lady, named Elsie who stood up and leaned on her walker. She turned to the red devil and said, “Mr. Devil I’ve been a member of this church for 65 years and in all that time... I have actually been on your side.”

None of us would want to admit to being on the side of the devil; but how often do we fail to do or say the right thing?  How often do we accidently slip up and say or do that which is “evil”?  In the military we are warned constantly to be careful with information because the enemy is always on the watch.  During deployment we never divulged travel routes or times unless it was on a secure line because if the wrong information landed into the enemy’s hands it could mean the loss of lives.

Most of us are not at war, and for that reason in our daily lives we tend to become a bit lax and too often do or say that which is wrong.  Those wrongs may cause hurt feelings between friends, family members or coworkers.  Those times we lie, or gossip can cause the loss of trust and lead to a bitter relationship.   We are all guilty of doing that which is evil or to quote the comic strip character Pogo, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”  Yes we are all guilty; the only exception is Jesus.  Unlike us He did lived the perfect life and then gave that life for us.   The Bible says, “But God demonstrated his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5)

Most people would not help their enemies, but God did. In fact, he sacrificed His son to save us and to make all who trust in Him members of His family.  As members of God’s family we are forgiven for the evil we have done and now are given a new chance to do better.  Hopefully we will do better, but sometimes we will slip up because we are not perfect, but in such cases it is a blessing to know we have a Savior who forgives and gives us another chance to try again.

As God forgives so hopefully we can forgive others in the same way.  It’s not easy, in fact it is tempting not to forgive, not to get a person a second chance (or in some cases a third or fourth chance). But as God forgives so may we … or as many of us tend to pray, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

That’s just my thoughts from this sunny SE corner of South Dakota!

CH (COL) David Gunderson