Today we spent some quality time with Keith and Diana Edwards visiting Flossenburg Concentration Camp, one of the primary forced labor camps the SS used during World War 2. This was where German pastor Deitricht Bonhoeffer was hanged for his refusal to support the Nazi regime and his participation in rescuing Jews and a plot to assassinate Hitler.
Who stands fast? Only the man whose final standard is not his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom, or his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all this when he is called to obedient and responsible action in faith and in exclusive allegiance to God—the responsible man, who tries to make his whole life an answer to the question and call of God.
This radical discipleship, for which he was famous, cost him his life. Tragically, he was executed two weeks before the US Army reached Flossenburg. His legacy is a call to that kind of commitment to Christ and his kingdom. On a personal note, this theme has resonated strongly with me.
It has been refreshing to consider what undistracted discipleship looks like. How many Christians do you know who are ready to be hanged rather than compromise their fidelity to Jesus? How many distractions do we face that make it difficult (or nearly impossible) to put Christ and his kingdom first?
Today was a sobering day. I hope that I left Flossenburg a more devoted disciple of Jesus.
(The courtyard where Bonhoeffer was hanged).