As Pastor John Ortberg continues his discussion of “the other side” in Chapter 7 of Who is This Man?, he states that Jesus doesn’t break down categories into us and them. Rather, the categories are prefect and not perfect, holy and sinful. In other words, all of us are on the same side: the wrong side! Yet Jesus determined to make the wrong side His side.
Of course, Pastor Ortberg notes, following Jesus doesn’t mean everyone will like us and that we’ll have no enemies, or that we’ll be able to find a church where everyone will adore us. In Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book Life Together, he wrote about living in the midst of our enemies (and he certainly could authoritatively speak on that subject!):
“Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had to come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of the cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work.”
Martin Luther added that a person who will not suffer doesn’t “want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies . . .”
When the going gets rough, Christians get witnessing!
Today’s question: How does fully grasping that we’re all on the wrong side help us deal with those involved in our ministry downsizing or vocation loss? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Love your neighbor”