In his book, The Freedom of a Christian (1520), Martin Luther wrote:
“[A]s our heavenly Father has in Christ freely come to our aid, we also ought freely to help our neighbor through our body and its works, and each one should become as it were a Christ to the other that we may be Christs to one another and Christ may be the same in all, that is, that we may be truly Christians….
But alas in our day this life is unknown throughout the world; it is neither preached about nor sought after; we are altogether ignorant of our own name and do not know why we are Christians or bear the name of Christians. Surely we are named after Christ, not because he is absent from us, but because he dwells in us, that is, because we believe in him and are Christs one to another and do to our neighbors as Christ does to us. But in our day we are taught by the doctrine of men to seek nothing but merits, rewards, and the things that are ours; of Christ we have made only a taskmaster far harsher than Moses.”
Has anything really changed?
One evening when Luther saw a little bird perched on a tree, to roost there for the night, he said,
“This little bird has had it’s supper, and now it is getting ready to go to sleep here, quite secure and content, never troubling itself what its food will be, or where its lodging on the morrow. Like David, ‘it abides under the shadow of the Almighty.’ It sits on its little twig, content, and lets God take care.”
This was part of my devotional reading this morning, and I enjoyed it so much I thought I’d share. The writer is Elizabeth Charles, who was an Anglican. She wrote over 50 books, but her best known was a story about Martin Luther, The Chronicles of the Schonberg-Cotta Family. It was published in 1862 and subsequently translated into most of the European languages, Arabic and many Indian dialects.
“Surely none are so full of cares, or so poor in gifts, that to them also, waiting patiently and trustfully on God for His daily commands, He will not give direct ministry for Him, increasing according to their strength and their desire. There is so much to be set right in the world, so many to be led and helped and comforted, that we must continually come in contact with such in our daily life. Let us only take care, that, by the glance being turned inward, or strained onward, or lost in reverie, we do not miss our turn of service, and pass by those to whom we might have been sent on an errand straight from God.
In other words, there are opportunities to use our gifts and serve God all around us, every single day. Open your eyes! Don’t miss your chance!
God loves you and so do I,