Reflections...

Meditations, Reflections, Bible Studies, and Sermons from Kowloon Union Church  

“My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.” (Lk 1:39-55)

A sermon preached at Kowloon Union Church on 24th December 2006, Fourth Sunday of Advent, by Rev. Dr. Jochen Teuffel. The scripture readings that day were Micah 5:2-5a, Hebrews 10:5-10 and Luke 1:39-55.


39 In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country,
40 where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit
42 and exclaimed with a loud cry, «Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me?
44 For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy.
45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.»
46 And Mary said,
«My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.»

“Let’s be realistic.” We know such exhortation. Yes, there can be illusions in life, expressed by visions or dreams referring to things which will never come to pass. Be realistic, such call comes up whenever fervent expectations go beyond the limit of our daily experiences. We may call people with those illusionary expectations enthusiasts. Enthusiasm is stirred up by great visions, which are all about power, mightiness, and changes beyond the normal moves in daily life. Such vivid visions may have an impact on daily life, they can move people, channel their expectations, however most of the time they don’t come to pass at least not in permanent way. So often great dreams are gone with their dreamers past away.

Be realistic, one may say, be modest in your expectations. Let the things beyond the horizon of your daily life not blur your duties. The voice of realism call for to come to terms with things as they are and to limit expectations to the very little steps. Improvements are called for instead of dramatic changes. However the voice of realism advocates resignation to some extend. Realism simply means: That is it, life confined to its current reality, nothing beyond.

«My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

We have heard the Magnificat, Mary’s Song, after she was blessed by her cousin Elizabeth. Strong words which sound quite enthusiastic.

50 His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.

How about Mary? Can we call her a realistic person, or is she rather enthusiastic? Certainly she is not very life-experienced, probably 14 years old, the common age when Jewish daughters became engaged. What she recalls as mighty deeds of the Lord cannot be the experiences of her own life. The very strange thing is that she praises God although his deeds do not match the expectations of a teenager. She is even facing her own premarital pregnancy, the Son conceived appears to be an illegitimate pregnancy, something which can hardly be explained to others. How dare she praise God for her pregnancy saying that for the Mighty One has done great things for me. Her situation is totally different to her cousin Elizabeth and also to Hannah (the mother of the prophet Samuel), women fairly advanced in years, who were barren. When they got pregnant unexpectedly after all these years of hardship they certainly expressed their joy in praising God. Hannah and Elizabeth both could whole-heartedly confess: the Mighty One has done great things for me. But in terms of a premarital pregnancy, how can Maria praise it as a great thing for her, even if the conception was by the Holy Spirit?

A fourteen years old teenager named Mary sings the praise of God for someone whose birth to come must be an embarrassment in the eyes of her environment. She praises God for a son whom she is going to loose on the cross, a son who will even reject her publicly (as it happened in Mk 3:33) She sings the praise of God for his mighty and yet invisible deeds which are not really related to her own life experience.

When God acts on earth it all starts in the lowliness of life, in the womb of a teenager, invisible, inconspicuous, unexpectedly certainly not the great things people are dreaming of or longing for. God acts against our own expectations and our own experience. His deeds are strange to us. The Son of the Most High was born not in palace but in a barn in Bethlehem, and his final destination on earth was not a throne but the cross on Calvary. God’s greatness and mightiness does not realize itself in human visions and dreams but in the birth of his Son, Jesus the Christ on earth. And it was a teenager who could praise God for his deeds already when she conceived his Son in the lowliness of her life. And her praise goes beyond the horizon of her own life in Nazareth.

«My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

Her Spirit rejoices in God’s deeds unseen yet promised to come. Mary was blessed by her cousin because of her faith: “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” God’s great deeds are not designated by our own experiences or our own expectations but by his word. Not what we want to see not what we want to come to pass matters, but what God has promised. It all depends on his promise. If you believe in God’s promise then you are neither a realist nor an enthusiast.
A realist thinks things can only be changed according to our capabilities whereas an enthusiast believes that things are to be changed according to our own visions. However, our life in faith lies beyond realism and enthusiasm. Realism as well as enthusiasm refer to external things, but crucial are not things or circumstances but our life itself, whether it is connected with God or not. If our life is not connected with God then we are lost no matter how we perceive our circumstances. Even the most blessed person on earth is lost unless his or her life is connected with God. And the connection does not depend on our circumstances of life but whether we are recognized by God’s Word.

And this is it, what Mary praises «My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.

God has recognized me, God has recognized us in his word, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant God’s recognition of our life in its lowliness is Jesus Christ, his Son enfleshed born from a virgin, Immanuel his cognomen, God with us. The Son of God true man, to take us in community with him, we belong to God because of his Son, he has looked with favor on us although being sinners alienated from God. He looked on us in the lowliness of our life with all its false shine yet in favor. And so we are to praise God with the words of Mary (a teenager): My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Amen.
Great things announced may elevate people above the misery of their life. If one is not complacent with things as they are, vivid visions may create something like a counter-reality imagined which pleases human longings.

The bitter truth is that the one who does have intensive or concrete expectations is the one who will get disappointed. If you don’t have any expectations you won’t become disappointed.

There is only one but decisive reference to her life: My spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. God has looked with favor on the lowliness of a 14 years old teenager. And what he has announced to her by the angel Gabriel lies beyond her imaginations:

«Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31 And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.».

However all her praise expresses an unshakeable trust in God, trust which comes out of the lowliness of her life. Her personal expectations towards a better life are not part of her praises. No enthusiasm towards a change of her life on earth. Her praise refers to things which are not related to her own life.

# posted by Heddy Ha : Sunday, December 24, 2006

 

“What then should we do?” (Lk 3:10)

A sermon preached at Kowloon Union Church on 17th December 2006, Third Sunday of Advent, by Rev. Dr. Jochen Teuffel. The scripture readings that day were Zephaniah 3:14-20
Philippians 4:4-7, Luke 3:7-18.


7 John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, «You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.
9 Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.»
10 And the crowds asked him, «What then should we do?»
11 In reply he said to them, «Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.»
12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, «Teacher, what should we do?»
13 He said to them, «Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.»
14 Soldiers also asked him, «And we, what should we do?» He said to them, «Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.»
15 As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah,
16 John answered all of them by saying, «I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.»
18 So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.

We have heard in the Gospel: “John the Baptist proclaimed the good news to the people.” (v 18) But where is the good news in words like that: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” “Now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” “His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Such announcement of judgment sounds rather threatening. Nevertheless it is said that John, along with many other exhortations proclaimed the good news to the people.

How does it go together? What is good news, and in particular what is God’s good news we may ask. First we have to acknowledge that good news is not necessarily good out of itself. Whether the content of such news is good depends on the particular circumstances. The same content of message can be perceived totally different. For example the announcement of the return of the father to the family can be the reason for joy and happiness of the children, but it can also be the reason to become anxious and even fearful. “The father is coming home,” but that father is a violent alcoholics in the state of drunkenness who may beat the mother again, as he did so often before. “Our father is coming home!” The same message can evoke both, joy or anxiety, depending on what to be expected.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is coming; you heard this message of Advent again and again. How does it resonate in your life? Now, even if we focus on Christ as our Savior and leave aside the announcement of his judgment, is this really good news for us: Christ our Savior is coming, our life on Earth will come to an end. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. […] The Lord is near.” (Phil 4:4-5) When you can say to yourself “I am doing fine, every thing is just right,” then you indicate, at least indirectly, that any changes in your life are not really welcomed. But this is exactly what Christ’s coming will be: an intervention into our life which inevitably is going to change situation.

If you are content with your current life, you can not sincerely pray: “Come Lord Jesus, Maranatha” (Rev 22:20; 1 Cor 16: 22) Instead your prayer ought to be: “Don’t come Lord Jesus, don’t change my life at this pleasant moment, please extend this pleasant moment instead of changing it.”

Now, what to pray for: “Come Lord Jesus” or “Don’t come, Lord Jesus.” It all depends how we perceive the current circumstances of our life, whether Christ’s coming can resonate in our life as good news. As I have said already: Good news is not necessarily good out of itself; it always depends on how they resonate in the life of the receiver. But what can it mean in terms of the Gospel, God’s good news. Does it really depend on us whether it will be good news? Do we human beings as the recipients eventually determine the goodness of God’s Word? If those divine words fit into our own expectations towards future then they are good otherwise not.

John the Baptist announces Christ’s coming with drastic words: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? […] The ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. […] One who is more powerful than I is coming […]. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Terrifying news evoking a startled, even shocked response: “What shall and what can we do?” in order to avoid the lot of fire in future. There is no other way left than repentance. «Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.» (Mt 3:2) This is message of John the Baptist. Only through repentance the message of Christ’s coming can be received as good news. Our self-perception has to be changed in order to expect Christ as our savior.

If we think we are fine, we are doing good, there is no need for change, then Christ’s coming will threaten us, the ax is lying at the root of the trees. But if we repent, recognizing our own current life-situation as lost and ourselves as sinners, if we acknowledge our own misery in being separated from God, then Christ’s coming will become good news. Our life needs a drastic change, maranatha, Lord Jesus come, Kyrie eleison, Lord have mercy, Christ please come as our Savior. Our life separated from you bears no promise but death. Save us from ourselves.

It is repentance which changes the way to receive God’s Word. Without repentance Christ’s coming threatens our life for it brings changes we do not want. But through repentance we are able to expect Christ as our savior.

So John the Baptist’s drastic words seeking our repentance are the necessary presupposition for Christ’s coming as good tidings. It is even part of the Gospel, God’s good news for all of us. His call for repentance changes our self-perception by depriving us of all self-assurance. Through repentance our life stripped of all self-protection, naked life. And then we long and pray for Christ’s coming. Maranatha, Lord Jesus come as our savior.

Amen.

# posted by Heddy Ha : Sunday, December 17, 2006

 

“All flesh shall see the salvation of God” (Luke 3:1-6)

A sermon preached at Kowloon Union Church on 10th December 2006, Second Sunday of Advent, by Rev. Dr. Jochen Teuffel. The scripture readings that day were Malachi 3:1-4, Philippians 1:3-11 and Luke 3:1-6.


In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene,
2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.
3 He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
4 as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,
«The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
'Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
5 Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.' »

How to meet someone in Mong Kok on a Sunday afternoon? That needs some preparations and even devices, at least a watch, better a mobile phone. And for those who are not familiar with the quarter a map is required in addition. Hong Kong, and in particular Kowloon is such a crowded city that we see ten thousands of people on the streets at one day without meeting any particular person we know. Even acquaintances or friends may bypass 5 meters apart from us, and we cannot recognize them, for their appearance is covered by all the other unknown pedestrians, hawkers, vendors, cars, vans, billboards, stalls and last but not least the high risers. Those high risers turn Kowloon into an assemblage of concrete canyons which are interconnected by streets. Our view necessarily remains shortsighted. The only beings which can gain an overview within these canyons are the birds of prey, in particular the kites circling above the high risers in the sky.

Here in Hong Kong there is hardly any way to spot another person coming from a distance. As long as one has not made a precise appointment in terms of time and place secured by mobile phones a meeting cannot take place on the streets.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is coming. That is the message of Advent. But how are we going to meet him? Do we have to make an appointment? Actually his coming, the final advent cannot be scheduled or arranged by us, as Jesus told his disciples: “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.” (Acts 1:7) And in addition, individual meetings are not on Christ’s agenda. As John the Baptist quotes the prophet: “all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” All human beings will see Christ as the savior with their own eyes. Christ’s universal appearance won’t be reduced to individual appointments or encounters.

“All flesh shall see the salvation of God.” Here he is, Jesus Christ visible to all, which is more than his spiritual dwelling in the hearts of believers (cf. Eph 3:17). One, no, every one will see him. He is coming, stepping into the life on Earth, and all flesh will witness his arrival. But how to imagine this, particularly in Hong Kong, in the midst of all the concrete canyons, where we even have difficulties to meet other people because of all the limited sight.

Probably we may imagine to a gigantic appearance: Christ towering above all the high-risers, the Son of God as a real giant, comparable to the oversized appearance of King Kong in Hong Kong. For sure such an advent would be impressive, and every one would come to know him.

But there is no way for a gigantic appearance. The Son of God became man, and not superman. It all started in a manger in Bethlehem. God on earth did not appear bigger than us. The life of Jesus of Nazareth remained at eye-level. He never became a giant to be looked up to. Instead God’s Son “emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance” (Phil 2:7 NAB). Thus a life is at eye-level with us, everything but paramount to us. He was not preserved from death but served us with his life. “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”(Mk 10:45)

Maranatha, our Lord come (1 Cor 16:22). We are to expect his second coming again in the form of a human being. But the all decisive question remains: How to meet him without appointment, and where can it take place? It seems that there is so much in between him and us. Our life has become creased in various concerns, everything but plain; our sight straight on is covered by the presence of others. We have our own directions in life by which we miss Christ. He may be right next to us like a friend on the streets of Mong Kok, but we are unable to recognize him.

Thus the “voice of one crying out in the wilderness” is to be recalled:

'Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.' »

Our Lord is coming. Prepare his way, make his paths straight. The things in between, barriers and obstacles, all what blocks the sight, all what swallows the light and casts shadows, what distracts our eyes aiming at the horizon are to be removed. With regard to Christ’s advent we are called to escape from the narrow canyons of life, where life has become everything but farsighted. Reduced to daily business and dealing with never ending concerns, such life is devoid of any expectations beyond the next street corner.

Where life is captured in canyons of concerns without any horizons, Christ’s advent will be ignored. Thus every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low. Imagine, it is as if we all have arrived on a plateau where all the unevenness and faults of life have become plain, where no shadows catch our sight. On such a plateau our panoramic view reaches the horizon at all directions. We do not have any appointment with Christ, only the promise that he will come. But since there will be nothing and no one between the horizon and us, our eyes will see him from a very distance, although he won’t be of paramount appearance. The Son of God, true man, is coming without an appointment and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Amen.

# posted by Heddy Ha : Sunday, December 10, 2006

 

“They will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory” (Luke 21:25-36)

A sermon preached at Kowloon Union Church on 3rd December 2006, First Sunday of Advent, by Rev. Dr. Jochen Teuffel. The scripture readings that day were Jeremiah 33:14-16, 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 and Luke 21:25-36.


25 «There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
26 People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
27 Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory.
28 Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.»
29 Then he told them a parable: «Look at the fig tree and all the trees;
30 as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near.
31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
32 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place.
33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
34 «Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly,
35 like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth.
36 Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.»

Apocalypse now, the signs are pointing towards the end. The whole cosmos is upside down, Sea and waves are roaring, the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Inevitably Jesus’ announcement of those signs remind us of pictures of natural disasters we can watch almost every day on TV, obviously pointing towards a global catastrophe because of a drastic climate change causing rising sea-levels and devastating typhoons.

Yes, there are drastic predictions in terms of global towards future which are every thing but promising.

25 «There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. 26 People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
28 Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.»

Jesus’ announcement sounds strange, contrary to our expectation: There a global catastrophe (Greek “overturn”) coming and he asks us to stand up and raise our heads in the midst of this event. Normally, a catastrophe evokes the need for protection, seeking shelter, running away. Run for your life. It seems as Jesus called us to face the upcoming catastrophe directly, with open eyes.

There are some caveats to be made: Stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.» The emphasis is on our redemption in the context of God’s actions. When God himself is shaking the powers of the heavens then certainly the day of the Lord is about to come.

God’s decisions are not to be made by us. We are not to seek for a global catastrophe, particularly if it is induced by human misbehavior in terms of global ecology. God’s works including the Day of Judgment are not to be mistaken with disastrous human behavior. We are not called to destroy what has entrusted to us as God’s creation.

However, Jesus’ message to his disciples still stands: When these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

We need his promise in order not to faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world. Stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

There is no final catastrophe to be expected which will separate us from Christ. As he says: Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

His word frees us from all too human imaginations of a global catastrophe which wipes out the entire life on Earth. Human apocalypticism fueled by all this disastrous pictures imagines a global catastrophe as the definite end. That is it and that was end, R. I. P, rest in past (not peace). The global catastrophe imagined will bury life, the whole Earth one cemetery. In the past there was life on Earth but in Future there will be only the death of life left.

Stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. Christ’s words stand: In the very end the future will not be determined by human beings with all their technological empowerment which have mounted up to a global scale. The future of heaven and earth are not in human hands but in God’s living Word, in which he created heaven and earth. And no human achievement, no human power and even superpower can thwart God’s Word. God is not to be overpowered by human-made destructions.

Humanity can only forecast death towards future, but God’s promise for the future is life, life inseparably connected with God through Christ. The New Covenant inaugurated by Christ’s blood shed on the Cross and sealed in his resurrection will not cease to exist but become reality for the whole Earth. And this will be the global catastrophe Jesus is speaking about. Actually the Greek word “catastrophe” means “overturn.” The final advent of Christ is a global catastrophe, a universal overturn of the destructive powers of the world, for the sake of life recapitulated and restored in God’s steadfast love.

Yes, Christ’s advent will shake heaven and earth, because the power of death and the power of sin are to be overcome. And we all know how strong and effective these powers are on Earth. They have to be and they will be overpowered us. The final disarmament of death is the global catastrophe Jesus announces to his disciples. Therefore his words stand:

Stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

I recognize the members of KUC as those who are engaged in Church and society not only for their own sake. They seek more than personally comforting messages. There are enough opportunities in Hong Kong to find Churches or congregations which please the spiritual needs and desires of their members. Probably those churches are doing better than KUC in this way.

However, a particular vigilance towards the development of the society and an engagement for the preservation and protection of human rights matches the global dimension of Christ’s advent. Christ with his work is much more than my personal savior. And in terms of his judgment to come there can be no private life or faith kept. In the very end our human life will become public, unsecured of family ties, possessions and positions.

Nevertheless, in spite of all the engagement for others we have to be reminded that there is someone about to come and to bring something which cannot be achieved by all our efforts.

In the very end justice and peace fulfilling heaven and earth are God’s work. And this is our only hope and assurance. We know how insufficient human efforts and achievements can be. One situation addressed and probably improved, and two other situations will come to our mind. Addressing these cases and another four incidents will occur. There is no moment thinkable where one can say: Mission accomplished, justice is done.

But all these efforts which so often appear to result in minor and even irrelevant achievements will finally be assumed into this cosmic catastrophe where Christ overpowers death and sin.

With the expectation of the final restoration of God’s justice, human work for justice and peace won’t be in vain. Yes insufficient and according to human standards sometimes fruitless. But Christ’s Word stands: No loose heart, Stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

It was the late president of the Federal Republic of Germany, Gustav Heinemann, an active member of the Confessing Church during the time of the so-called Third Reich, who encouraged his Church after the Second World War in 1950:

“A high price was paid for our freedom through the death of God’s son. No one can put us in new chains, for God’s Son is risen. Let us answer to the world when they want to frighten us: Your rulers are going, but our Lord comes.”

Your rulers are going, but our Lord comes, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.»

# posted by Heddy Ha : Sunday, December 03, 2006

Archives

May 2004|July 2004|September 2004|November 2004|December 2004|April 2005|July 2005|August 2005|September 2005|October 2006|November 2006|December 2006|January 2007|February 2007|March 2007|April 2007|May 2007|July 2007|August 2007|September 2007|October 2007|November 2007|December 2007|January 2008|February 2008|March 2008|April 2008|May 2008|June 2008|July 2008|August 2008|September 2008|October 2008|November 2008|December 2008|January 2009|February 2009|March 2009|April 2009|May 2009|June 2009|July 2009|August 2009|September 2009|October 2009|November 2009|December 2009|January 2010|February 2010|March 2010|April 2010|May 2010|June 2010|July 2010|September 2010|October 2010|November 2010|December 2010|January 2011|February 2011|April 2011|May 2011|June 2011|July 2011|October 2011|November 2011|December 2011|January 2012|February 2012|March 2012|August 2012|September 2012|November 2012|December 2012|January 2013|February 2013|March 2013|April 2013|May 2013|June 2013|September 2013|October 2013|November 2013|December 2013|February 2014|March 2014|April 2014|May 2014|June 2014|July 2014|August 2014|September 2014|October 2014|November 2014|December 2014|January 2015|February 2015|March 2015|April 2015|July 2015|August 2015|October 2015|November 2015|December 2015|January 2016|February 2016|March 2016|April 2016|May 2016|June 2016|July 2016|August 2016|September 2016|October 2016|November 2016|December 2016|January 2017|February 2017|March 2017|April 2017|May 2017|June 2017|July 2017|August 2017|September 2017|October 2017|November 2017|
Archived sermons by the Barksdales

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?