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Posts Tagged ‘resistance’

My pastor believes there is ultimately only one thing he can do for the souls entrusted to his care.  He can be faithful to preach the Word and offer the Sacraments.

Nothing — not one thing — will do more for me or any other member of my church family.  Nothing but the Wisdom of the Word, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the Body and Blood of the Savior Jesus Christ will carry us on this earthly journey to our heavenly home.

But, when my pastor started offering the Lord’s Supper not just twice a month, but every Sunday, the complaining began.  Stubbornness set in.  Attendance dropped.  Those who guard the finances began to worry.  My pastor didn’t suggest the change because he’s enamored by the power of authority, but because he’s under authority.  He opened God’s Book.  In adult class and a series of sermons, he spoke God’s Word of instruction.   He explained the illness of sin and the Source of forgivness, healing, and strength.  Then, with faith in the Great Physician, my pastor stopped the practice of withholding medicine — saving it only for this Sunday or that — and started offering it every Sunday.   There, at the Lord’s Table, I am reminded that I’m forgiven and do not have to carry the burden of my sin baggage.  I am strengthened for the week’s battle against satan, the world, and my own sinful self.  I am filled for a week of worshiping God by serving others.

So, here is my pastor faithfully preparing the Lord’s Table every Sunday for us.  For a sick, burdened, and weary flock.  With arms open, he speaks The Word: Come!  Here is Christ… “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”  But, some in the flock have chosen to voice their dislike of weekly communion by refusing to attend church as regularly as they were.  In fact, there are whispers: Maybe if pastor sees the attendance dropping and money not coming in to meet our budget, he will stop this practice.

Do these people hear what they’re saying?  “Stop, pastor!  Stop offering us so much Christ!  Stop, or else… .”

Could it be?  Are some people really saying: We want more blessings!  We want more members to join!  We want more money for our storehouses!  We want success!  We want a place in the community!  We want more stuff!  But, we don’t want more Christ.

“Give us music, Pastor.”  “Give us joy, Pastor.”  “Give us opportunity to praise God, Pastor.”

But, Christ.  The Word in human flesh here for us.  Forgiveness for us.  Abundant life for us…

Just not so much.

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Hitler once said to the parents of Germany, “What are you?  You will pass on.  Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp.  In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.”

Much of the older generation in Germany kept quiet.  Good Germans trusted authorities, minded their own business, and steered clear of conflict.  But do you know who spoke up?  Do you know who publicly went on record to oppose Hitler?

It was the  young people!  One of the few organized public efforts to oppose the Third Reich was a small group of university students who called themselves the White Rose Society.  These students had been politically indoctrinated from childhood; some were trained as Hitler youth.  Nevertheless, these young people resolved to take a stand against evil.  How is this possible?  How could these young people resist the Nazi culture?  Because they were idealistic and willing to rebel against bad ideas; they were influenced by families who opposed Hitler; they were medical students who knew about medical atrocities; and most had Jewish friends or classmates.

Two of these students were executed — beheaded — for their resistance.  They were a Lutheran brother and sister, Hans and Sophie Scholl.  Hans and Sophie knew the time had come to act.  The printed and distributed leaflets called Leaves of the White Rose, telling others about the mass extermination of human life and calling for resistance.  They called for a “freedom from evil” and a “rebirth of German life devoted to truth.”  One of the leaflets read: “We seek the revival of the deeply wounded German spirit.  For the sake of future generations, an example must be set after the war so that no one will ever have the slightest desire to try anything like this ever again . . . We shall not be silent — we are your conscience.  The White Rose will not leave you in peace.”

You and I know young people like this who speak to our conscience and who could rise up to oppose evil.  They are the generation who knows exactly what abortion is, and they don’t like it.  They have witnessed the failures of modern feminism and sex education, and they want something better.  Their souls long for truth.

It’s no wonder Planned Parenthood is afraid.   The younger generation could demand that America cease its barbaric ways.  The younger generation could demand that the Church be the distinctively different Church it is supposed to be.

There are generations of hope.  Though God has promised His judgment on the third and fourth generations, His mercy is to thousands of generations.

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