What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done;
there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
The writer of Ecclesiastes saw life as being cyclical. When you take a deep look, it really is so. Yet, it is easy to forget this because there is so much “new” happening all the time, it seems. What might you have forgotten now?
I’ts Now Time to Remember How we Started
When the church was born it was not a dominant movement. As a matter of fact, it was a minority movement. The Christians were few. In many places there were other gods being worshiped. This has been the situation of our Christian brothers and sisters in many parts of the world. It’s now time to remember this if you’ve forgotten as you shift to a situation of other religious dotting the landscape.
Now it’s time to remember how firm that the early Christian’s understanding of who Jesus is was firm. They did not try to soften their message. They did worry about whether or not they were offending people who believed differently. No. It was more than an understanding. It was a deep conviction that could neither be shaken nor shut up.
Jesus is Lord. Jesus is above any other god, above any earthly ruler. They stood by this conviction regardless of the consequences. It’s now time to remember that this conviction often led to imprisonment, torture, and death. They were bold. Are you?
It’s Now Time to Remember that Jesus is Lord
They declared that, “Jesus is Lord” when everyone was supposed to say that, “Caesar is Lord.” Can you say that “Jesus is Lord” when those around you say that to do so is to be intolerant? They faced a death sentence. What do you face?
“Jesus is Lord” is not a challenge. It’s a fact whether or not others like or accept it. In an age of consensus, it’s easy to forget. It’s now time to remember. It’s time to say it without shame, reservation, or kowtowing to people’s sensibility.
With this declaration you are saying that Jesus is the supreme ruler above all presidents, prime ministers, czars, and other earthly rules. God is above all. You are saying as Peter implied, it is better to obey God than human beings (Acts 4:19). You’re also saying as Peter said in Acts 4:12, “‘There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.’” This is faith and life. It is not intolerance.
It’s Now Time to Know What Is Tolerance
Intolerance is not you denying who you are and what you believe to make someone feel good about themselves. If that’s what it takes, they need help, anyway. Declaring that “Jesus is Lord” is being true to the historic Christian faith. Above all, it is being true to Jesus Christ who suffered much for us. It’s now time to remember what you may have forgotten.
Your tolerance is that you treat others with love and respect. It is not that you dumb down who you are. Your love will propel you to tell others for Jesus Christ so that they too may find life in him.
Tolerance is too often used as a cloak for faux connections where you connect with others on a surface that’s thinner than ice. You never reveal who you are for fear of offending the other. Thus, you are never fully human and present with each other.
It’s now time to remember our ancient faith and proclamation—Jesus is Lord! Start with your young people. Be sure that they know and understand that Jesus is Lord.
Living fully. Living faithfully. Following Christ.
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