Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 1 Peter 5:8-9
Have you ever toured France?
If you did, I imagine you didn't stop for any length of time in LeChambon. The tour guides won't make a big thing of it, but LeChambon is a very special village. Understand, it is not special because of its unique architecture or because it produced a great composer or artist.
LeChambon is worthy of note because when many of the other towns of France handed their Jewish friends and neighbors over to the Nazis, the citizens of LeChambon did not. The people of that town, operating independently, refused to betray the Jews.
Sometime after, a reporter went to the village to find out why the men and women of LeChambon were almost unique.
He quickly discovered it was not because they were all, by some genetic difference, naturally born heroes. They weren't. They weren't heroes, nor especially brilliant, nor incredibly discerning. They were ordinary people.
After extensive investigation the reporter found only one factor that made them stand out.
At their little church, Sunday after Sunday, they had heard the sermons of Pastor Trochme. Over time they became, by habit, people who just knew what to do -- and they tried to do it.
When the Nazis came to town, when it came time for them to be courageous, they quietly did what was right. They put their fears, their hopes and their dreams on hold and gave of themselves.
One old woman who had faked a heart attack when the Nazis came to search her house, said, "Pastor always taught us that there comes a time in every life when a person is asked to do something for Jesus. When our time came, we knew what to do."
I think that was the point that Peter was trying to make in his first letter to the church. Peter knew there would come a day when the devil would show up on our doorstep. We can be sure of it because he has shown up on so many other doorsteps.
When that day comes, we need to be committed to the faith and resist him.
Like the people of LeChambon, like God's good Christians in every generation, stand firm in Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, You came into this world to rescue us from our sins and from ourselves. Now we pray that we who have been redeemed by Your precious blood, may stand firm. Send Your Holy Spirit, so when the time of testing comes we may stand firm in the faith. In Your Name, I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries