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March 19, 2014
By PASTOR ROGER LEMKE , Pine Island Eagle


Special to The Eagle

I really wanted this article published Jan. 16, which was National Nothing Day. However, since Jan. 16 was a Thursday, I knew that "The Eagle" would not publish a special edition and therefore all of my work would be for nothing. You see this article is really about nothing! Of course, some of you have already said that about past articles. But I am warning you that this article is the most nothing article you've ever read. Specifically, a widow says to Elisha: "Your servant has nothing" (2 Kings 4:2).

A widow sees Elisha and "cries out" (2 Kings 4:1). This Hebrew verb implies "economic oppression." The point being that this widow has zip, zero, zilch, nothing! Her husband is dead, her cupboards are bare and her sons are about to be sold as slaves in order to pay her debts. She's been rejected at "Uncle Al's Easy Loans" and she had to place her "Happy Meal" on layaway because she has: "Nothing!" Nothing but hope in a graceful God and His prophet Elisha.

According to Paul, we are all just a little bit of nothing. We don't have merit; we don't have strength and we don't have ability. Precisely at this moment when "we were unable to help ourselves" (Roms. 5:6-8), precisely at this moment when we would answer with the widow: "I have nothing." God sent His Son. But heavens to Betsy, we can't believe our eyes: "Being in the very nature of God, He did not consider equality with God as something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing" (Phil. 2:6-8).

Just imagine the King of Kings becomes a slave. The Creator is spit upon by His creatures. The source of truth is found guilty of a lie. The source of light hangs in darkness for three hours. The source of life is crucified, dead and buried. From the pinnacle of praise in the highest heavens to demeaning absolute nothing dead and hanging on a cross in the town's garbage dump. No wonder that it was written that, "He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him. He was a nobody" (Is. 53:2-4).

However, when nothing is multiplied by Jesus there is a resurrection. After a life of bad choices, a nothing of society, a lowly thief made one good choice turning to Jesus saying: "Remember me!" And as the rich, cleansing, forgiving blood flowed from those five wounds turned the dirt to velvet a nothing became a somebody! "Today, you will be with me in Paradise" (Lk. 23:42-43). Many people are not good in math, but we need to learn an equation that so often eludes us. Here it is: "Jesus x absolutely nothing = absolutely everything!"

Roger Lemke is pastor at Fishers of Men Lutheran Church at 10360 Stringfellow Road.



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