Recently, I have been kind of bummed out about the election. Neither candidate was all that great, so when one of them won, it just made matters worse.
The reality is that these are difficult days for the Church on earth. Society is attacking the Church from various angles, issues on the ballot in a variety of states that legalized sin passed. Things have gotten so bad that even the government no longer allows the Church to operate in the peace and freedom it once did.
And I was bummed out about this until Wednesday, when I was leading the Bible study for the Guild, and one of the verses we read regarding encouragement in difficult times was Esther 4:14b: who knows if you have not come into the kingdom for such a time as this.
Mordecai is pleading with Esther to use her position of influence as Queen to help the Jews. His rational is that it is possible that God raised up Esther to this position for the very reason that she might save the Jews from the pending slaughter.
You and I may not have been raised up to save a peoples from an almost certain slaughtering, although we should certainly not rule that out; but we have been raised up to be the Church in this day and age. We are now the caretakers of the history, the legacy, the future of the Christian faith; this is our moment to believe, teach and confess what has been handed down to us throughout the generations.
This is not the moment of Martin Luther, or CFW Walther, or Augustine, or any of the other Church fathers. They came at a time when the Church needed them, we have their writings and their teachings to use today, but the actual living, breathing teachers of the faith, we do not have.
For reasons known only to Him, God has raised each of us up at this point and time in the history of creation to be the Church. We, the baptized believers, have been brought to this moment to defend and to further the faith to places it has not yet been, and to places it has always been. It is now our task to proclaim the Gospel before kings and emperors and even presidents who may or may not be willing to listen. It is our job to know bend the knee and allow our own heads to be sacrificed in the process of standing up for what we believe.
These are by no means ideal times. The Church faces challenges largely unheard of a mere century ago. The defense of the Church also rests in people like you and I, who are most unworthy of the task.
But the Church also has what it has always had: it has the saving death and resurrection of Jesus. And that is the solid foundation upon which the Church is built and has stood throughout all ages. We may falter and our defense may be weak, but we have the sure and certain conviction that the faith we defend is the one true faith.
You, and I, have been brought to this moment to believe, teach and confess the faith into which we were baptized in the face of a mountain of challenges, never before seen in the history of the world. And as we gaze upon the task ahead of us, we hear the words of Mordecai spoken to Esther long ago: who knows if you have not come into the kingdom for such a time as this?
This is our moment for which we have been baptized for. In the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, the Church will stand on the solid rock of Jesus Christ that it has always stood on.