suffer a little

A governor vetoes an important religious liberty bill.

Planned Parenthood gives 16 million to the mid-term elections.

The cold weather refuses to quit.

We’re tired of it: sick of being frustrated, dismissed, and chilly. We are weary from defending what’s right, worrying about what our country will look like in five years, fearing for our church.

“This country’s going to hell in a hand basket,” we say. “The times sure have changed.”

But they haven’t.

We were promised this. In our Baptism, we were given a mark that guaranteed we would suffer.  And at our confirmations, we vowed to endure this–and more, even death–for the faith.

Why are we surprised?

Our ability to exist in this world as Christians will be damaged.

Our desire to speak out in defense of life will be attacked.

The skies will let loose with snow.

But that is the good news: The battle isn’t coming. The battle is here. We are in it. We are already fighting it. We are suffering for the faith even now.

There is no need to worry that the day is coming.

This is it.

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And so we steel ourselves, not for tomorrow but for today.

We are who we are boldly and without shame. We read the Holy Scriptures. We pray without ceasing. We are no longer afraid to speak. We are braver than we knew we could be. We speak the truth in love, confident that the Holy Spirit is at work on hearts and in minds.

We savor steak smothered in mushrooms, the laughter of our spouses, the sound of music coming from a piano, the crazy way the dog tries to eat his tail.

We read. We talk. We band together. And we endure.

 

The world is already coming down hard on the Church. The youth are ridiculing the beliefs of their parents. The government is providing little in the way of our defense. And there may well be a day when the pews are empty and pastors are fighting each other for the parishes that are left. We will feel as though we have nothing left to fight for, to fight with.

And we will be right. Because we already have nothing of ourselves.

We have no other out, no other option.

But there is One who does, One who has already suffered all and won.

And so we rely on Him alone.

Not on governors or institutions or AccuWeather.

On Christ.

He has known suffering. He has known grief. And He has known them for us, so that our suffering and our grief would be temporary, fleeting, minor in the course of the few years we have on this earth.

He is our out, our only option: Christ and His cross.

So a governor vetoes an important religious liberty bill.

Planned Parenthood gives 16 million to the mid-term elections.

The cold weather refuses to quit.

And as they do, we pray with Luther: “I am your creature.”

“You have sent me a cross and suffering and say to me: Suffer a little for my sake and I will reward you well.”

“Dear God, because it is your will, I will gladly suffer.”

And we do.

And He does.

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6 thoughts on “suffer a little

  1. You do a fine LCMS Lutheran Governor a great disservice! Her veto of SB 1062 in no way infringes upon the freedom of the Christian when examined in light of Luther’s “The Freedom of the Christian”.

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