"Stir 'Em Up"
April 11, 2011
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25
The subject for the following devotion was suggested to me by Mr. Ian Adnams, director of Communications for Lutheran Church -- Canada.
The article title said "25 % of Swiss People Are Unbelievers."
Ian Adnams, the director of Communication for Lutheran Church -- Canada sent me a note which said, "Shouldn't this read, "75 % of Swiss People are Believers"?
What a wonderful point of view... and of course it is right. The world in general, and the media in particular, just love to report anything negative about the church.
Of course, I suppose it is true that good news doesn't sell papers.
When I stared to read through the article, I did come across some interesting information. It said the interviewers found that the religious views of the Swiss are divided into four different groups. Those groups are
1. The Distanced. The distanced are the folks who might attend church on occasion but for whom religion isn't all that important. They have beliefs, but the institutional church doesn't always shape those beliefs.
2. The Institutional. Although it isn't a very complimentary title, the Institutional folks are the ones for whom church is important and who are faithful attendees.
3. The Secular. The secular are those who are indifferent or hostile to the church. As one misinformed man said, "Religion is synonymous with violence, war, and conflict."
4. The Alternative. The alternative group is those who are interested in meditation, reincarnation, and herbal medicines.
Reading through that list, I thought a great many people I know would fit into one of those four categories. And it was that statement which led to the choice of Bible verses for today: "let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works."
Indeed, what can you and I do to bring back the Distanced, reclaim the Secular and reach out to the Alternatives? Our response to the Savior who gave His life for our forgiveness and salvation says we have to try. We have to try and let the Holy Spirit do the work through the Word.
And that, as St. Paul says, is my encouragement to you.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I feel sorry for the deserters, the discouraged, the seekers and searchers. Please use me and the talents you have given me to calmly reach out. This I ask in the name of my Suffering Servant Jesus. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries