This, then, is our reward—that now, in confessing him, in the very act of confession, we are permitted to learn that we are not strong men who stand up like Luther (actually a misunderstood Luther) and strongly and passionately declare, “Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise,” and thus as men who are relying on their own strength and courage. Nor does confessing mean that we stand like strong oaks of the Lord with mighty roots clutching the earth as the storms of godlessness, doubt, and mockery sweep through their branches. (What shaking reeds and glimmering wicks, what miserable doubting Thomases we are, even though a few people may have called us confessors and fighters for God! Let us not fool ourselves.) So, “confessing” does not mean that we are like oaks, weathering the storm by our own power. To be a confessor means to bear witness to the power of the living God and to start from the fact (note this, from the fact) that this power of God is a force that sovereignly embraces the good and the evil, the faithful and the mockers, and that nothing is beyond its dominion. But when I do this, when I venture to do this, a miracle happens; for then what happens is nothing less than my proceeding to make room for heaven, to break a path for the reign of God in our lives. And just by doing this, my confession gains the power to detonate a greater power; what happens is simply that now I let God act and rule, while I am content to be only his instrument. And when that happens, or better, when I let this happen, then I am acting in good earnest with the faith that “our commonwealth is in heaven” and that here we are acting in the name of one whose name is above every name.
About The Author
Rev. Bernhard Seter has been a Pastor in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod for over 42 years. He served on the Board of LCMS World Relief and Human Care for ten years and is now the Chairman of the Board of International Missions. He has been privileged to travel around the world and see the churches' mercy work in action. He is convinced it is not only what we are "compelled" to do because of Christ; it is what we have been baptized for. Christ's love compels us, constrains us, and sends us forth.
June 22, 2017
August 13, 2016
April 3, 2017