Sunday Worship 8:30am & 11 am Traditional 9:45am Informal
Whoever you are and wherever you are on your life’s journey,
there is a place for you here at San Marcos Lutheran.
Do you sometimes have questions about faith?
At San Marcos Lutheran we encourage questions.
This is a place where God’s inclusive love is proclaimed.
We are a community of grace where we are equipped to follow Jesus in compassionately loving our neighbors.

Silence in the Face of Evil is Evil

“Silence in the face of evil is evil itself. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer

These days I’ve been haunted by the above words of Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He wrote this during the time when the Institutional Churches either cooperated with their government or turned their backs to the atrocities perpetuated by the Nazi regime. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a leader of the Confessional Church in Germany prior to and during WW II. The Confessional Church was a group of Christians that chose to
stand up to the evil lies of the Nazi terror.

We watched in disbelief as white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia, waving Nazi flags and raising the Nazi salute. On Friday night, a torch lit parade surrounded a church full of people praying for peace and reconciliation. Those on the outside shouted “blood and soil,” a notorious catchphrase of the Third Reich. “Blood” refers to racial distinctions and asserts the superiority of whites over all others. “Soil” refers to geographical territory. In other words, those who shout this phrase insist that America is a white nation. Many of the people who came to Charlottesville to protest the removal of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee called themselves “White Nationalists.” Let’s be clear and call them
what they are, Nazis. They are espousing the regurgitated lie of a white master race.

As Christians, we cannot abide this. We are our sisters’ and our brothers’ keepers. We are all created in the image of God. No matter our race, nationality, or ethnicity, we are all God’s children. Everyone is equal before God. And everyone should be equal under the laws of this great land. Lest we forget, we worship the incarnate one who was born in the Middle East. Truth be told, Jesus was a Palestinian Jew with beautiful brown skin. Racism is a sin. It is our responsibility as followers of Christ to denounce this hate and violence without resorting to hate and violence ourselves.

We mourn those who died and pray for those who were injured in these events. Please join me in calling out evil when we see it. Keep doing the things so many of you are already doing as you work for peace. Pray and stand up for your neighbors in need. Contact our elected leaders. Teach our children that all are loved by a gracious God, and that everyone is equal in the eyes of God.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a courageous person of faith who said NO to the evil lies of Nazism. He paid the ultimate price for his courage. He was arrested and executed. Few of us will be called to pay that ultimate price, but all of us must do something. “Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

As I said in my Aug. 13 sermon, we are living in tumultuously, storm-filled days. The question before us at a time such as this, isn’t, “What would Jesus do?” That’s not a hard question. I think we can be certain what Jesus would do. Rather, the question before us is, “What will you and I do?” That is
really up to us.

“O God, where hearts are fearful and constricted, grant courage and hope. Where anxiety is infectious and widening, grant peace and reassurance. Where impossibilities close every door and window, grant imagination and resistance. Where distrust twists our thinking, grant healing and illumination. Where spirits are daunted and weakened, grant soaring wings and strengthened dreams. All these things we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.” Amen. (ELW)

Peace in Christ,
Pastor David Jorstad