Posts tagged ‘Concordia’

A Christian Response to the Death of Osama bin Laden

Concordia’s Senior Pastor, Bill Tucker, has written a letter to the congregation concerning the death of Osama bin Laden and how the Christian should respond to such an event. My prayer is that it is helpful to you as you ponder what this event means not only in the life of our nation, but in your life as a Christian.

My Beloved Concordia Family,

The death of Osama bin Laden was reported on Sunday evening, May 1, 2011.  As news of his demise spread, people responded in different ways.  Some responded with jubilation, happy to see an enemy of our country destroyed.  Others felt sorrow:  Bin Laden’s death reopened painful scars from the events of 9/11 and losses suffered in our War on Terror.  Still others responded with concern: For the evil in this world, ultimately, will not be defeated by human action, but by Christ alone.  Perhaps you, like me, have experienced some of each.

As I have been sorting through my own personal response, there have been many from our beloved family of faith doing the same.  How should a Christian respond to the death of Osama bin Laden?  Hopefully this brief note, with some guidance from God’s Word, will be helpful in your contemplation of that same question.

From the Bible we learn that death, even the death of the wicked, is not pleasing to God, nor is it part of His design.  The prophet Ezekiel states it well:  “Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?” (Ezekiel 18:23)  God’s preference is always that the wicked – even Osama bin Laden – repent and be forgiven.  This does not mean, however, that God won’t execute His judgment on those who refuse to repent.  In the very next verse, Ezekiel continues, “But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked man does, will he live? None of the righteous things he has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness he is guilty of and because of the sins he has committed, he will die.” (Ezekiel 18:24)  The apostle Paul affirms, “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)  God punishes evil.

We also know that God uses earthly governments to execute His judgment.  Paul writes, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established…He is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He [the governmental authority] is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” (Romans 13:1, 4) We can conclude, in circumstances like this, God uses governments and militaries to bring judgment on criminals.  We remain thankful for our troops and their service on behalf of our nation and respect their God-given vocation as governmental officials.

Finally, as Christians, our response to the death of the wicked should mirror God’s Word.  The wise man of Proverbs wrote:  “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice.” (Proverbs 24:17)  These words lead us to respond to this news without reckless jubilation, but with measured sobriety. We thank God for His judgment on wickedness.  At the same time, we keep our hearts and minds humble, so we do not slip into arrogance and sin.

In these times, it seems certain there will be more terrorist plots.  We must pray for these evil efforts to be confounded, for evil men to be brought to justice, and for peace and security to be reestablished.  However, when we pray for peace, it is with the knowledge that our hope comes from the Lord.

Abraham Lincoln, in his second inaugural address, describes the Christian’s hope for peace, even in the midst of war, like this:  “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”  May this be the prayer of us all.

God Bless You!


Bill Tucker
Senior Pastor

Advertisements

May 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm 3 comments

ABC Extra – Filled with the Spirit

Recently, I have had some very full days.  Many appointments, tasks, and some added duties have kept me plenty busy.  My MacBook calendar is filled and my to-do list is long.  Of course, seasons like these come and go.  From time to time, we all get busy and our days get full.

In ABC this past weekend, we kicked off a brand new series called “STAINED! Windows Into Our Heritage.”  In this series, we are reflecting on the stained glass windows which grace the front of our sanctuary and study that biblical stories which they portray.  We began our series with our Pentecost window, pictured here.

The festival of Pentecost is as old as Moses.  Originally, it was a harvest festival known as the Feast of Weeks, celebrated fifty days after the Feast of Firstfruits – hence, it’s Greek name “Pentecost,” meaning” fifty.  In latter days, however, it also became associated with the giving of the Divine Law to Moses on Mount Sinai.  Thus, Pentecost was a day to celebrate the gift of God’s Law.  But on a Pentecost day in Acts 2, it became a day to celebrate another gift of God.

The story of Pentecost begins thusly: “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place” (Acts 2:1).  The Greek word for “came” is symplero’o, meaning, “to fill up completely.”  Apparently, this Pentecost day was a full one.  It was a day that didn’t just arrive on a calendar, but “filled up completely” a moment in history.  But it didn’t fill this moment in history with appointments, tasks, and duties.  No, the fullness which this Pentecost day brought was much more profound and transcendent.

The story continues:  “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:1-4).  Some 1600 years earlier on Pentecost day, God has filled His people’s souls by giving them His Law through Moses.  Now, once again, He has filled His people’s souls by giving them His Spirit through a rushing wind and tongues of fire.

One of the many precious promises from our God is that He loves to fill His people with His good gifts.  As Jesus Himself says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6).  And unlike the things of this world, which, though they might fill our lives with their demands and stresses, steal our souls, the things with which God fills us always bless us and keep us in Him.  And so we rejoice that Christ fills our days and our lives with His good gifts.

Are you feeling empty?  Pray that God would fill your days and life with what you need.  May He fill your heart with His love, your concerns with His comfort, your doubts with His truth, your sin with His forgiveness, and your soul with His Spirit.  May you be full in, with, and through God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Want to learn more on this passage? Go to
www.ConcordiaLutheranChurch.com
and check out audio and video from Pastor Tucker’s
message or Pastor Zach’s ABC!

June 7, 2010 at 4:45 am Leave a comment


Follow Zach

Enter your email address to subscribe to Pastor Zach's blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,992 other followers

Questions?

Email Icon Have a theological question? Email Zach at zachm@concordia-satx.com and he will post answers to common questions on his blog.

Archives

Calendar

May 2019
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

%d bloggers like this: