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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Witnessing in troubled times

A call for evangelical missional imagination

As I reflect upon the recent Bishops’ Academy journey to the Middle East, consider the dire implications of the economic crisis throughout the world, and ponder the decisions that lie before us as a church body, I believe we are being called to bear witness to our faith at the intersection of fear and hope.

That intersection is not an easy place to live or from which to lead, yet it is where we are as a nation, as the ELCA and as a world. It is also a place where Scripture speaks to us, for we live and serve at the intersection of fear and hope.

When the risen Christ encountered his fearful disciples that first Easter evening, he extended an ordinary greeting: “Peace be with you.” These words became an extraordinary gift, for the risen Christ showed the marks of his crucifixion to the disciples. John tells us, “Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord” (John 20:20).


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