Text: Matthew 21:23-32
To not live by lies
For faithfulness to Christ in the midst of suffering
For our children
IN A SERMON FROM 1934, the German pastor Martin Niemöller warned his parish that they needed to be wise and careful in their “yes” and “no.” With an eye on the growing shadow of National Socialism, he told his listeners that while it was necessary and good to respond to all those who were crying “NO” to the Lordship of Jesus Christ with an emphatic “YES,” the very yes they were speaking could be their undoing:
Do you see the danger?...We confess, we say “yes” to the Lordship of Christ, yet do not consider the fact that we only say “yes;” in reality we struggle all the more mightily for our own esteem, for our own thoughts, for our rights, for our program, and at once we are standing with the high priests and elders, alongside with all those who Jesus meant—who said “we go, sir” and do not go!
Following Niemöller, let us be very careful! It is easy to grow alarmed or angry at others in our communities who, having said “no” to Jesus and his Lordship, decide that justice, peace, security, or freedom is achievable only by taking action in the name of another, or through some general principle, or some eventual goal. God is not thwarted by their “no” for there is a place for their repentance—for them to rise and go to the vineyard. But what can be done for those who say “yes” and never rise up?
When you say “yes,” remember that Jesus is Lord—that he is alive (he rules over death), that his will prevails (he is the Sun of Justice) and that he has you (he has set you free)—and rise up to join him.
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks