Word of the Month

Put Christ in the centre

August 2011

Apostle Paul once wrote to the Corinthians: “And He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Corinthians 5: 15).  

Paul comes to the following conclusion: if this is the case – i.e. that the Lord has died for us – then let us live for Him! In my eyes, living for Him means focusing on Christ! Christ must be in the centre! This is not intended to be an empty catchphrase, nor is it to remain an abstract concept in our minds. Rather it is to live in our hearts! Today there is a great danger that one might not accord Christ the place He deserves. Why is it so difficult to put Christ in the centre of our lives today? I believe it has become more difficult because society no longer supports us in this endeavour.

On the contrary, things are moving in exactly the op­posite direction! Let us be alert and watch that we do not push Christ somewhere off to the side.

What exactly does it mean to push Christ off to the side? No longer having any time for the Lord is one way of pushing Christ to the side. This often happens, doesn’t it? We have our daily battles, we get busy with one thing or the other, and soon we no longer have time left for the Lord. It goes without saying that we must provide for ourselves. This has to be and it is very im­portant. But let us take a moment and take an honest look at ourselves: might we not – if we really wanted to – still be able to spare a little more time for the Lord?

The second way in which we might push the Lord aside is by not having any joy in the Lord. That is a great danger of our time. Young people still have so many plans and are right in the middle of their lives and are making friends here and there. My advice to you is to take care that all these things do not exercise control over you! Our joy in the Lord is to define us. It has to be the focal point. This is not something that simply falls into our laps, but it is something we must experience over the course of time. We must feel how our joy in the Lord enriches our lives.

If we have no time for the Lord, and no joy in the Lord, then we will not have any hope in the Lord either. That is a third way in which we might push the Lord aside.

People no longer hope for the intervention of God in their lives, they no longer hope in the day of the Lord. Hope has become something of a sideline in peoples’ lives. Let us accord the Lord the place He deserves in our lives. How do we do that?

Let us take time for the Lord. That is the most im­portant thing. If we are so occupied and filled up with the many other matters of life, then we must make an effort to make time for the Lord! Our joy in the Lord also suffers at times. I am just as exposed to this danger as anyone else. Nevertheless, we must not allow ourselves to be robbed of our joy! Joy in the Lord is to be promoted in every respect: in our families, in the congregations, and in the work of God, let us do our part to ensure that there is joy! If we make time for the Lord and if we are joyful in the Lord, we will also have hope in the Lord and we will experience Him. Then He will also help us and lead us to perfection and completion. So let us be conscious of the fact that the Lord has died for us! This is to define our life and give it structure! If this is the case, the Lord will be the centre of our lives!          

(From a divine service by the Chief Apostle)