I really like my garden although I don’t get to spend a lot of time there. But the other day, standing there, I was reminded of an article written by Norman Nagel a great professor and teacher in the church for years. We are experiencing difficulties with Project 24 and there are even rumors out there that we are dead. We will be laying out the problems and the solutions that are being worked on and I will be talking about the theological issues that I see are at the heart of it. The issues that we see around the world in the mission field are not just messy problems of administration and leadership and accountability – they are the evidence of a war that still goes on with principalities and powers and the rulers of this present darkness.
Everything we do in the church is Christ’s work and if not it should not be done. When we preach and teach and do acts of mercy as witness to Christ in Word and deed, it is His work. At some point we have to say that “it is up to Him”. Here is Norman Nagel. – “It is up to Him. At Concordia College the Chapel window said to us at the beginning of the day in silentio et spe erit fortitudino vestra. Isaiah 30:15. “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength”. Precious words each one of them, loaded with Gospel, and together they give the bedrock confidence of the Christian life and service, and deep down, indestructible joy.
Now and then from a mere seminarian a pearl is dropped. When hard pressed regarding some words of the Lord, the seminarian exclaimed, “See Him about it. I only work here”……….Dr. Luther in a controversy about regarding the Lord’s Supper: “All I have been doing is repeating what our Lord said and if that is wrong, it’s for Him to worry about”. Or words to that effect. ‘I only work here”. Those are the words of a man who has the hang of the Gospel, who knows whose man he is, whose church it is, who builds it, and so also whose servants you are.”