The inspiration for this devotion comes from some notes I took at a William H. Willimon lecture in 2014.
In Karl Barth’s 1934 “Barman Declaration,” a segment of the church stood up to Hitler by asserting that we are saved through the preached word of the church, not by obedience to the state. Barth stated that the church ‘has to testify in the midst of a sinful world, with it’s faith as with it’s obedience, with it’s message as with it’s order, that it is solely God’s property, and that it lives and wants to live solely from God’s comfort and direction.” Barth, who loved the preached word more than the structures of church, saw internal church order as a witness to the world, a rebuke of Hitler. As pastors and church leaders, we spend much of our time caring for the structures of the church. Many intelligent, theologically well-formed pastors (leaders) are unable to incarnate (God taking on flesh and blood) their high principles in a congregation because they arrogantly refuse to grow in their basic management and administrative skills. A church that is full of good intentions and slacks on practical witness is a church of God admirers rather than incarnated followers of Jesus.
Prayers: For leaders of Government. For wildfires, a vaccine for Covid 19, those in the potential path of hurricanes. And for all who mourn the death of Doretta, sister of Judy Edwards.
*We hope to see all of you at the final zoom with Terry Hershey tonight from 6-7pm mtn time at “The Well.” If you are not on “The Well” zoom invitation list please let Vikki Luce firstname.lastname@example.org know*
Still in one peace,
Pastor David J. Jensen