Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience. .... 1 Peter 3:14-16a
While walking through the congregation's parochial school, I was accosted by a first-grader.
Taking my hand she took me away from the others, motioned for me to bend over so she could say, "Pastor Klaus, Pastor Klaus, my mommy and daddy told me a secret."
Looking at the little girl it was obvious: she was fairly bursting with the news of her secret.
She continued: "Do you want to know my secret?"
I replied, "Honey, if your folks told you a secret, I think you probably ought to keep it."
She looked at me like I was dense as a post.
"But do you wanna know my secret?" Then, before I could answer, she said, "Mommy is going to get fat. And do you know why?"
Since we had gone that far, I played along, "Well, if you won't get into trouble for telling me. Sure, I'd love to know. Tell me, just why is your mommy going to get fat."
The little girl grew coy, giggled and said, "Pastor, I can't tell you why mommy's going to get fat. I can't tell you for another seven months."
Then she smugly added, "You see, I know how to keep a secret."
Secrets. Some people can keep them, some can't. Some secrets are worth keeping; others are too good to keep to yourself. Sadly, there are times when people get the two confused.
For example, I've known many Christians who do their best to keep their faith a secret from those around them. If you were to ask them why, they would give you many reasons. High on the list would be
1. I don't want to seem like a religious fanatic;
2. I don't want to offend someone who is an unbeliever;
3. I've known too many Christians who try and force their religion down other people's throats;
4. I don't believe in talking about religion or politics. It always leads to an argument.
Now I'm not saying there isn't a certain level of validity to those explanations. There is. Every cause has its adherents who are overly-zealous, overly-vocal, and obnoxious. Still, because they are a little too forceful doesn't mean we should keep the Savior sequestered in some remote corner of our hearts.
He is the One who has saved us by sacrificing Himself.
If I knew a doctor who had saved one of my children from certain death, I would sing his praises. If an officer of the law gave his live to save mine, I would keep his memory alive forever. Why should our response and reaction be any different for the Savior? Jesus died that we might live. That is no secret. It is God's wonderful, sin-forgiving, eternal-life-giving truth.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, Jesus gave Himself so I might be saved. By the Holy Spirit's power the Savior lives within my heart. Now may I, as You grant opportunity, share the Savior with those who need to hear of the salvation He has won. In Jesus' Name I pray it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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