A Revolution

WORDS FROM W.W.                                           April 15, 2014

                                        

 

We live in turbulent times where going against the grain is often frowned upon. Just try doing the speed limit on the highway and see the extended middle finger get shown to you by drivers speeding by who have important places to be. Isn’t it interesting that going the speed limit is seen as being radical now.

Revolutions are occurring around the world in nations where governments are teetering on survival. Some of the revolutions are the rise of people against injustice, while others are radical revolutionaries bent on causing destruction.

Jesus was considered a radical by the religious establishment of his day because he questioned what was, and talked about a relationship with the Lord God Jehovah that was intimate and personal. He was seen as a revolutionary, and yet he was exactly on target. A peacemaker is seen as being a troublemaker if society is anchored to war and unrest.

I just finished Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas. it’s the biography of the pastor, teacher, writer, and mentor who was executed by Hitler at the end of World War Two, just a few days before the Allied Forces marched into Berlin. At his memorial service on July 27, 1945 Holy Trinity Church in London, Franz Hildebrandt used a quote from Bonhoeffer in his sermon. On his last visit to London he had said, “Why should it always have to be the bad people who make the revolutions?”

What an idea! What a life mission for anyone of us! To ignite a revolution of lovingkindness and service! That describes the early church in Rome. In the midst of a culture that exalted Caesar to being a deity there were the Christ-lovers who cared for those who no one cared about. An epidemic swept through Rome that was leaving five thousand people a day dead. Family members who were sick were abandoned to die alone. Many of them were literally pushed into the streets and banned from entering the home again…to simply suffer and die alone.

And in the midst of that miserable situation a community of Christ-lovers emerged. They were seen as being revolutionaries of lovingkindness. They ignored the danger of the spreading disease and took the sick under their care, attending to their needs. Most of the sick passed away, but they departed life with a sense of peace as opposed to being seen as discarded and rejected.

That early Christian community was taking the words of Jesus in Matthew 25 about caring for those in need as the gospel to be lived out. It was a revolution committed to Christlikeness.

What might the next revolution be? Right in the midst of one’s community? Across a sea to a distant place of suffering? A decision to give as cup of cold water to someone passing by that I don’t know? An invitation to a worship service where Jesus will be proclaimed?

As Bonhoeffer said, “Why should it always have to be the bad people who make the revolutions?”

Explore posts in the same categories: Bible, Christianity, Community, Death, Faith, Jesus, love, Pastor, Prayer, Story, The Church, Uncategorized, Youth

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