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Imagine that threat being placed before you?
How would you react?
So the threat of death for stating the truth about scripture was extremely real.
Luther himself at various times throughout the Reformation was kept in hiding.
For this reason Luther himself was not at the reading of the Augsburg Confession, as his life was in danger.
But listen to the response of George, Margrave of Brandenburg,
one of those who appeared at the reading of the Augsburg Confession, when confronted with such a threat.
"Before I let anyone take from me the word of God and ask me to deny my God, I will kneel and let them strike off my head."
How would have you reacted to such a threat?
In fact how do you react when confronted with the situation of between choosing God and something or someone else?
Everyday each of us is confronted with such situations.
The choice of confessing that we believe in God with what we say and do
or keeping silent with our lips and actions.
Our physical life may not be at stake.
But something far more important is,
our eternal life,
and so is the eternal life of others.
The Gospel reading we heard today from Matthew 10, verses 26 to 33 is part of a larger teaching.
And throughout these teaching Jesus informs the disciples and us
that being one of His followers,
Does not necessarily mean that life will be easy and pleasant.
When we state and live as Christians
even in our closest relationships, which God created for good,
we maybe faced at times with the choice of being loyal to our family or loyal to God.
Listen to what Jesus says a few verses later to us:
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
37 “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
This is not physical war, but it is a spiritual one
On this point I like the counsel of an older friend.
She is in the difficult situation where her grown up children and many of her friends
for various reasons have drifted away from the church and their faith in God
and yet she still wants to show love to her family and friends.
So what does she do?
Initially she thought an easy way would be to say and do nothing?
She believed that this would keep peace.
But she said there were too many instances where such peace was not helpful to her or to others.
Instead she now constantly acts in ways to remind them that God still values and loves her friends and family.
She constantly prays for them.
She invites them to events where they have the opportunity to mix with other Christians in a church environment.
At times they come, at times they don’t.
But her most difficult times occur when they invite her somewhere when this clashes with worship or bible studies.
Most of the time her response is simple,
How about we start a little later?
Or better still how about you come to worship with me first and then we go for lunch or our afternoon together.
Even when she visits their
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