31.8.11

The Crisis of the Christian Ministry

The deepest nature of this crisis lies in the fact that God always demands from his servants something which is, humanly speaking, impossible. One may look at the wrestling between God and Moses in the first chapters of Exodus. Why does Moses refuse to go on his errand? Why does he think up all sorts of excuses including the not very convincing argument: "Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue." He refused to go because what God demands is “impossible”. Even if he succeeded in breaking through all the barriers of the police who were searching after him for manslaughter, of the courtiers and body-guards, and appear before his majesty the mighty ruler of Upper and Lower Egypt, was there any likelihood that the Pharoah, who enjoyed divine honours and worshipped in his temples the great gods of heaven and earth, would accede to the alleged request of an unknown god who was worshipped by some of his slaves: ”Let my people go” (Ex 5:1)? It was impossible, but Moses went simply on the promise that the Lord would be with him.

From The Crisis of the Christian Ministry in ‘Lutheran Theological Journal’ (Adelaide), 2.1 (May 1968), pp 34-46.

[Sasse quotes from the RSV, but I have used the ESV for convenience.]

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