Martin Niemoller was one of the few courageous pastors in Nazi Germany who stood up against Hitler and his policies against the hews.
Niemoller spoke out against the killing of the mentally ill and defective. He spoke out against forced abortions and euthanasia. He spoke out against the terrible slaughter and imprisonment of the Jewish people. And because of his stand – because he attempted to help some of the Jews escape Niemoller was arrested. He was sent to the awful death camp of Dachau. I had the privilege several years ago of visiting Dachau (they call them Memorial Sites now) on a cold December morning. There were snow flurries and I couldn’t help but imagine the plight of those prisoners standing in the cold in that horrible place. I saw the cell where Martin Niemoller was imprisoned. It was interesting that almost no one in our tour group even talked. It was a sobering, sorrowful and humbling moment.
On Christmas day,1944 Niemoller was told that he could preach to some of the other prisoners. Most of them would never leave that place.
If you had been Pastor Niemoller, what would you have preached under those circumstances? What would you have said to give hope to the hopeless? Martin Niemoller chose as his text that day this verse “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us”) Matthew 1:23.
Niemoller’s message was that they were not alone in their suffering. BUT EVEN THERE in a Nazi death camp, God was with them. The good news is that same God is with us this morning. And He has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us. Even when we face our final enemy death, He will still be there, leading us through the dark valley and the shadow of death.
We can have hope this morning in the midst of difficult circumstances because our Immanuel has come!
Have a great week!
P.S. Sunday night at 6PM on December 17th - Children/Youth Christmas Program –
“An Unplugged Christmas”
If you would like to comment or if you have questions for Pastor Barry you may direct those to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you.