Thursday, August 01, 2013
Dietrich Offeldt lived in post-World War II eastern Germany. It was clear that the people were going to trade the terrors of living under Hitler for the terrors of life under Soviet Communism, in which official atheism told the people to have no king but the state. Dietrich Offeldt was a Christian. “Leave East Germany,” his friends told him.
But he refused, explaining later: “Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. He is the ruler of my life, and he can dispose of my life in any way he chooses. I have found that every Christian finds himself or herself in a particular circumstance, a particular time, a particular place in which they live out their discipleship. My circumstance is communism; my time is the Cold War; and my place is East Berlin. I chose to be a disciple here.”
God has given you the task of being a subject of King Jesus in this town, in this time, in this place, and, as a member of a Lutheran congregation, a member of a denomination that grows bolder each day in repudiating the teachings of the Bible and the Lutheran Confessions we say are the bedrock of our faith, that subtly denies the kingship of Jesus in favor of getting along with a pluralistic world.
You and I could choose to avoid trouble with neighbors and friends by keeping our traps shut about Jesus, our king.
If we do that long enough, Jesus will no longer be our king. We’ll be subjects of the dying world’s two favorite kings, Safety and Security, which are only aliases of Satan, ticketed for death along with every other king but the risen Jesus.
Better to take the choice made by Dietrich Offeldt. He chose, he said, “to raise my flag and show my colors, to let those around me know for sure that I am a Christian, that Christ rules my life.”Mark is so right...but...
But so often I know Christians that are bold about Christ being king for others, but not so much themselves. So often they tell others what it looks like to have Christ as King, while their lives show no evidence other than morality. When Christ is our king not only will we be bold in the face of adversity, but we will love those that bring the adversity.
Jesus was audacious. How did H get away with it? Earlier in this sermon, Mark looks at Christ's confrontation with Pilate. Whenever I read that story I wonder why Pilate did not have Him stuck dead on the spot. One does not speak that way to a Roman ruler. Jesus got away with what he did in speaking truth to authority because His very essence proclaimed not just the truth He was uttering, but the whole truth of what God can do for us and to us.
Do our lives, our demeanor, our spirit similarly proclaim the WHOLE truth? AS we focus on being bold for Christ we must also focus on allowing the Holy Spirit to reshape and remake us. If we do not, our boldness will appear only as conceit.
bold king truth