October 31, 2012 - For I am not ashamed of the Gospel Paul says as he writes to the Christians of Rome.
As we hear those words and think about them I wonder how many people would say that today.
We have so many teachings that take away from the truth of God. We hear songs that proclaim to be Christian but never mention God.
We read articles that are supposed to be of spiritual nature and find a few words thrown in at the end that attempt to give some impression of being Christian. But to stand on the Gospel and the power it brings?
Are we undercover Christians? Do we hide our faith except for times when it is convenient for it to be shown? Do our words and actions deny the faith we have, the relationship with Jesus we have been called to live?
Is it only on Sunday morning or when we are at church that it is O.K. to live our faith and let it show?
Jesus says: So everyone who acknowledges Me before men, I also will acknowledge before My Father Who is in heaven, but whoever denies Me before men, I also will deny before My Father Who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:32-33 ESV)
How do we live our lives when we are around other people, especially those we know are not Christians?
Do we let our faith show? Do we acknowledge Jesus, our Savior?
Sometimes it seems an unfair advantage when I am talking to people who have just let out a stream of profanity and then they ask me what I do for a living.
When they find out I am a pastor they are so apologetic. It is then that I remind them that it should not matter who I am or what I do but that their faith should show at all times to all people.
How do we witness that faith? Our church has just finished the celebration of the Reformation, where we remember the focus on the Word of God and the salvation we have been given in Jesus, God's Son.
Many in the world focus on Halloween but we remember it as All Hallowed's Eve. The following day the church celebrates All Saint's Day, remembering those who have cast aside the mantle of sin and taken the fullness of the glory won for them by Jesus as they entered into heaven.
Can we be a solid witness in this world?
Yes, if we are not ashamed of the Gospel. Yes, if we live in the power of salvation, knowing our sins have been washed away in the blood of Jesus, shed from the cross for us.
Imagine Paul ashamed of the Gospel. Imagine the disciples and the early Church ashamed of the Gospel. Imagine them burying the power they had been given by the Holy Spirit.
If you can imagine that then you can see a Church that does not exist.
May we never be ashamed, but proclaim Him always!
The Rev. Kendall Schaeffer is pastor of St. Trinity Lutheran Church.