First Lutheran Church Plainville, Kansas
Peace Lutheran Church Natoma, Kansas
You know the feeling; you are sitting in a hot gymnasium, watching an older brother or sister graduate, and you think to yourself: one day, that will be me. Or perhaps you are sitting in the pews, watching a friend get married, and you think to yourself: one day, that will be me. And the list goes on, watching a couple welcome a new baby into their home; seeing a neighbor’s child head off to college; picking up the paper and seeing a community member receive an award. One day, it might be you; one day, it will be you.
Of course, there are other life events that trigger the same reaction, although they are hardly as joyful. Sitting in the pews for a funeral, knowing that one day it will be you. Hearing the news that a child stormed out of the house in anger after another fight with their parents. Picking up the paper and seeing that a friend is in trouble with the law. One day, it might be you; one day, it will be you.
I consider this as over the past few weeks two friends, both of whom are pastors, have been attacked in various forms for their confession of faith by those outside the Church. Both men are loved by their congregations for their faithfulness to the Word of God, but both men are hated by the world for that same faithfulness. The world has showered them with messages of hate, and treated them quite disgracefully.
I look at these situations from my own corner of the world, and pray for both of these men; pray that they would continue to stand firm in the faith, despite what the world may think, and in some cases, do; pray that there is no further harm to them or to their families, outside of some harsh words spoken; pray that Jesus Christ would come quickly and put a merciful end to this sick and sinful world.
And I do so knowing also that one day, it will be me; one day it will be you. The world hates the Church, hates the Lord of the Church, hates those who in any way attach their names to the Church. One day, it will be you and I that are attacked for the confession of faith that we hold. One day, it will be you and I that find our email boxes full, our answering machine overloaded, and our facebook pages overflowing with messages from those who despise our confession that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Today, it looks like a problem that happens a million miles away; today it is a problem that others deal with; today it is something we only hear about on the news. But make no mistake about it: the barbarians are at the gates, and they are looking for blood. One day it might be you; one day, it will be you.
Fortunately for you and I, and for all those who make the confession that Jesus Christ is Lord, blood has already been shed. The blood of Jesus Christ was shed on the cross of Calvary, paving the way for the eternal life that we so eagerly anticipate. The blood of Jesus Christ has already made you and I clean from the impurity of our sins. The blood of Jesus Christ marks you and I as redeemed children of our heavenly Father.
And so we know that our confession is sure and certain, no matter what the world may say or do. Our place in Paradise has been secured. Our Lord and Savior has made sure of that.
One day, and probably sooner rather than later, it will be you that the world hates; one day it will be you that is welcomed into Paradise by Jesus Christ.
Until that great and glorious day, we pray, with the whole Church both in heaven and on earth: Come Lord Jesus; come quickly among us!
God Bless! Pastor Schmidt