Friday, October 3, 2014

Tag der Deutschen Einheit: A Picture of Freedom in Christ & What the Church Should Be

Tag der Deutschen Einheit:
Is a Picture of Freedom in Christ and what the Church Should Be

            We have, as a family, been in Germany for almost two weeks now. Our first German holiday is the German Re-Unification day. It is celebrated on October 3. in the fall of 1989 East Germany and West Germany were Re-Unified after many years of Post World War 2 Communism in the DDR Government. I remember vividly President Reagan saying, "Mr. Gorbachav tear down this wall"! Then on the day when the wall came down, I can remember people standing on top of the wall with sledgehammers swinging with all their might to destroy this wall a symbol of bondage, fear, and control. This had such an impression on me as a teenager. I did not understand the full implications, at the time, But a young man standing on top of the wall trying to destroy the wall was an irrevocable image on me as a teenager...
            Later on a short term missions trip to East Germany we took a tour of Leipzig and found out that the freedom movement started with prayer everyday at one of the larger churches in Leipzig. The Deaconesses would meet daily for prayer for the liberation of the East German people and the fall of the DDR. In the weeks to follow the East German people marched for freedom against the borders that the DDR had set up, and the tanks and soldiers that stood against the people were ordered in some confusion from the top level commanders to stand down. Was that confusion from God? Of course! God threw the DDR Army and commanders into confusion so they could not stand against the march for freedom. We know from a thorough study of scripture that God rises and falls dictatorships, governments, and kingdoms (Romans 15). The picture then of German Re-Unification became clearer and clearer to me. Also the picture of our freedom and Re-Unification in Christ becomes clearer with these earthly pictures of peoples and governments Re-Unifying.
            I think today of Galatians 5:1 Where the Apostle Paul says, "It is for Freedom that Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." This is such a great verse in light of such a historic and unpresedented event in human History. I know a pastor that lived and served as a pastor in the DDR and now in East Germany near Leipzig. I asked him if it was a possibility for the DDR to fall a year before it actually happened. He said, "never, it was an impossibility." He also said, "In My mind the DDR would never ever fall like it did. It is truly a miracle from God." This is the same thing we see in Galatians 5:1. Christ has set us free, and it was a practical impossibility that we would have been set free from sin by our own power, thought, ability, or works. This freedom that Christ has given from sin and death is a miracle of impossibility!
            I also think today of the Church, "Tag Der Deutschen Einheit" is a picture of the Church. Our unity in Christ is a picture to the world of the great work of salvation, redemption, and grace to a broken world. In a world that experiences discord, and broken relationships we the Church can relay the message of freedom, hope and unity in Christ. These are values that the world typically is not exposed to. When we as a Church can exhibit these qualities then the world can see and pay attention to the countercultural way of Christ. His way is an impossiby free way. His way is the miracle of impossibility. Let’s celebrate the Re-Unification Day in Germany as a real world example of our impossible Re-Unification in Christ that he has so graciously made for us. Our great hope in him is that in bringing that same message to a world that so desperately needs Christ, the world might also be Unified to a good and loving savior in impossibly miraculous ways.

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