Hi, welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the daily challenges. This week’s topic is part of our series called EPIC where we’ve been exploring how Jesus is found throughout the Old Testament part of the Bible. We’re reading some epic old stories from the Old Testament, some of which you might have heard before, some of which might be new to you. But our hope is that in each of them we’ll see how they’re part of one big epic story: the story of the Bible, the story of the world, God’s story.
Our daily challenges are meant to help you explore what it means to follow Jesus, even if you don’t have a lot of time. That’s why we have a rhythm that keeps us in sync, even if we’re not a community that meets together in person regularly. This means every Monday we introduce the week’s idea. Every Tuesday we study it in the Bible. Every Wednesday we see how that challenges and transforms our thinking on the topic. Thursdays we try to apply and live it out. Friday is a day for prayer and reflection before we take a rest on Saturday, and Sundays we meet together with other Christians in community.
Sometimes Christians need to stand up to the powers that be. One of the most inspiring stories of this was in Nazi Germany in the 1940s.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a pastor and teacher in Germany. He saw what was happening as the Nazis rose to power, and was part of something called the Confessing Church, a center of Protestant resistance. He focused on teaching people to resist Hitler and his regime through Christian faith. He had always felt a Christian said not to “resist the powers that be,” but made the hard decision to actively push back against evil instead.
He was arrested in 1943, but stayed alive because of an influential relative. In April 1945, however, two soldiers came in to his church service and took him away. He said to another prisoner, “This is the end — but for me, the beginning — of life.” He was hanged, less than a week before the Allies arrived.
It’s hard to believe this happened less than 100 years ago, in a western nation with a long Chrsitian history. But powerful leaders, especially those with absolute power, can change things quite quickly. We can get complacent when we forget this, and imagine it could never happen to us in our country.
Bonhoeffer felt much the same, until the world around him changed quite rapidly, and he realized his conviction about Jesus was nothing if he didn’t act and put himself at risk. Some things really are worth dying for – and this is at the center of the Christian faith – considering we follow a crucified Lord!
Question: When have you had to really take a stand on something? How did it feel? Can you imagine a situation where you would put your life on the line?