Reflections: July 14, 2020
Tuesday of the Fifth Week after Trinity
By Kyle Mietzner
Always [be] prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. (1 Peter 3:15)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Christians can be weird. We've always been like this. From the very beginning, people noticed that we are different.
Tertullian, a Christian living in the second and third centuries, wrote to the Roman authorities, defending Christians. He says that people used to insult Christians, saying, "See how they love one another."
We gathered money for the weak and poor. We adopted children who had been abandoned. We opened hospitals to care for the sick. We weren't looking for personal wealth or great fame. People noticed that Christians looked out for the weakest people, and cared little about their own comfort.
Many of the earliest Christian writers after the New Testament era sent letters to suspicious governmental authorities. People like Justin Martyr and Augustine of Hippo engaged in this work, defending the faith to those who had asked for a reason for our hope. They noticed that we were different. We were hopeful in a world of fear.
What is the reason for our hope? Simply put, our hope is in Jesus. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was crucified, buried, and is now risen from the grave, has ascended and sits at the right hand of the Father. This is our hope. Now that Jesus Christ has conquered death, there is nothing to fear. What is stopping us from loving one another? Nothing. Death, our only real problem, has been overthrown.
Embrace the weirdness of not being afraid of death for the sake of Christ. Love one another as if there were no reason not to! We have nothing now but love. Defend it! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty Father, You have raised Your Son Jesus Christ from the dead, and united us to His resurrection in Holy Baptism. Therefore, we pray that You would take from us the fear of death in such a measure that we would be filled with nothing but faith towards You and love for our neighbor. Give us willing and noble hearts, always ready to make a defense for the hope that You have given to us, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
-Rev. Kyle Mietzner is pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, Anchorage, AK.
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