I am continuing my sharing with you what I am learning from the Lenten study 24 Hours That Changed The World by Adam Hamilton.
“Fear performs its poisonous work within all of us. How often are we still motivated by it? In what ways does our fear lead us, individually and as a nation, to do what is wrong–what is at times unthinkable–while justifying our actions as necessary?…But resisting those in leadership or in the majority, even if we believe they are wrong, is exceedingly difficult…An example is Martin Niemoeller, a Lutheran pastor in Nazi, Germany during World War II. He saw the sins being committed against the Jewish people and at first decided not to object. Only later did he begin to speak out against what he had seen. Words attributed to Niemoeller movingly express his analysis of the situation: ‘First they came for the Communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for Jews and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me and by that time there was no one left to speak up anymore'…Another example is a 18th century British philosopher and politician Edmund Burke who said :'The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.'”
“Peter would surely have said, ‘ I know you've denied Jesus. I denied him myself. I denied him in a way that I am deeply ashamed of and yet I have to tell you: I betrayed the Lord, but he gave me grace. He took me back. And if you have denied him, he will take you back, too.' Peter wanted to reassure others that, despite the fact that there are times when all of us deny the Lord, he will continue to take us back and use us to accomplish his work.”
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