IMG_1497This was the message that came out last week that announced the death of Gedion.  Our church is working on a Global Seminary Initiative that will help partner and other emerging churches establish solid theological education in their countries.  Some of the Seminarians come here to school for a while and sometimes our professors go there and teach. The emerging churches that are growing around the world want sound theology and they want to be truly Lutheran.  They see quite clearly what happens when the theology of Glory is proclaimed in a poor country.  They understand what happens when churches try and teach that “a God without wrath brought men without sin into a Kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.” That statement Richard Niebuhr echoes today as never before in America, but not in the emerging world.  Emerging churches want the Gospel whole and entire.  They want Jesus whole and entire as He is received in the Lord’s Supper.  They want Baptism.  They want to be Lutheran.

Young Pastors and Seminarians that I have met in Africa are hungry for theological conversation and the give and take of colleagues.  They are truly interested in the Confession of the church and they are hungry for the Word.

Gedion was a colleague of Dr. Al Collver the head of the Office of Church Relations and an important part of the seminary at Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.  He was from Deberberhan.  He was 34 years old.  He was murdered in a robbery.

I did not know him.  Dr. Collver dedicated a paper at the Mission Summit to his memory.  I am letting you know about him because life in a fallen world is life under the Cross for Christians.  Life under the Cross also reminds us that we are bound together by Christ into HIs body and we are all a part of one another because Christ is our head.  Gedions death diminishes all of us whether we knew him or not.  At the same time we believe “that precious in the sight of the Lord is death of His saints”.  Gedion’s life and death was a witness.  Our life and death should be a witness as well.