In every life, there are defining moments. An event, a choice, a meeting that changes everything that comes after. A time when you set off in a different direction. What are some of those moments in your life? Maybe getting married, becoming a parent, graduating from college, choosing to embark on a certain career?
For every Christian the most important defining moment of life, is the day they met Jesus. For many of us that happens in our baptism as a very young child. We grow up and continue in the faith that was imparted at an early age. For others, there is an event that awakens faith in a flash; or a person who tells the good news. However it happens we need to live as Luther described in the quote above: as if the events of the Passion and the Resurrection and the Second Coming were not just words in the Bible that we accept intellectually, but events that we actually believe, experience, and allow to affect our lives.
How would you feel if Jesus had just died yesterday for you? How would you spend your time if you saw the resurrection with your own eyes? How would you behave if you believed that the Second coming might happen tomorrow? In the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, the Bible tells us to be ready. Don’t procrastinate. Spend your time and your life today as Jesus “redefined” it. Make that one defining moment the centerpiece of your life.
Vocation is one of those words Lutherans like to use. Luther taught that each of us has a vocation, or calling, it’s not something reserved for priests, monks and nuns. It can be lived out in the midst of ordinary life. True vocation is that passion I spoke about in my last post. In Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Filled Life when he asked the question, “What on earth am I here for?” Each of us has to answer that question, hopefully in a prayerful way, in order to discover our vocation.
Isn’t this what we are doing?
Off topic, but how True!
It’s off topic, but sometimes Lutherans just need to laugh.
October 13, 2017 will mark the 500th anniversary of the day that Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses, so we Lutherans have been hearing a lot about the people and events that played a role in the world changing movement called the Reformation. In our sermon Sunday, my husband discussed what the Reformers went through to make the Bible available to everyone. He said that these days the Bible has been called the most purchased and least read book in America. Almost everybody has one …or more, as there are a myriad of different translations and specialty versions….but do we remember to give thanks for that gift, and realize what a privilege it is to have God’s Word readily available to us in our own language? We take this for granted but many people were persecuted and killed in order to make that happen. Here are a few:
- Johanm Esch & Henrich Voes–the first Lutheran martyrs burned in Brussels in 1523
- Martin Luther–condemned by Papal Bull in 1520 and by the Diet of Worms in 1521
- Jan Hus–burned in 1415
- Girolama Savonarola–Hanged in 1498
- Hugh Latimer & Nicolas Ridley–Burned in 1555
- Thomas Cranmer–Burned in 1556
- John Knox–Condemned to be a gallery slave 1547-1549
- George Wishart–Hanged in 1546
- William Tyndale–Burned in 1536 in Brussels
- John Wycliffe–Died a natural death in 1384 but his bones were later dug up and burned, scattered in the Thames
So next time you read your Bible–or the next time you put off reading your Bible–remember how many people risked or gave their lives so that you could have it. Your Bible was purchased for you by the blood of martyrs. Take that seriously and take time to read it.
“It is well for us that, amidst all the variableness of life, there is One whom change cannot affect; One whose heart can never alter, and on whose brow mutability can make no furrows.”
Have you ever heard of entropy? It comes from a principle of thermodynamics and refers to the idea that everything in the universe moves from order to disorder. This makes perfect sense to me: it’s what happened when sin entered the world. Left on our own, mankind gradually disintegrates into more and more sinful behavior. As we age, our bodies are subject to the results of sin as well–sickness and death eventually overtake what God has “fearfully and wonderfully made.” The people closest to us, the ones we love and depend upon, will all die. We will die as well.
Thankfully in life there is one person who doesn’t change; one person that we can count on forever. In Hebrews 13:8 we are told:
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 assures us:
“…for it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not fail you or forsake you.”
In a world of change, I need to remind myself every day to choose the unchangeable and focus my mind on the unseen. I want to be able to say along with Martin Luther:
“Let goods and kindred go, This mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.”
from the hymn ‘A Mighty Fortress.’
“There is nothing I want more than to make His gospel known to the world and to convert many people.”
If he have faith, the believer cannot be restrained. He betrays himself. He breaks out. He confesses and teaches this gospel to the people at the risk of life itself.