In case you weren’t at Bethany Community Church yesterday (and even if you were), I thought you’d enjoy this little production, created by roaming around Munich in search of learning more about Sophie Scholl and the White Rose.
Many people ask about the fruit of their work. I can offer two stories, and with each, a word of hope from the Scriptures. First, when the news of the White Rose reached America, the allies printed the leaflets by the tens of thousands and air-dropped them over the German cities, doing what, in their wildest expectations, none of the white rose would have imagined while they were living. Jesus said it this way: “Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it remains by itself, alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.” These lives bore fruit, precisely because they were willing to die. And of course, the thing of it is this: Jesus is asking all of us to lay down our lives, and ways both large and small, for His purposes. We must learn to make His will our only agenda, which means we must also learn to listen for His voice and be quick to follow Him. In this way, we will find ourselves swept into the destiny God has for us.
The second principle is related to the first. I will surely never go down the road of laying down my life unless there’s something far more important than ‘my life’ in my worldview. Of course, those who follow Jesus know that, whatever their life might entail during these days on earth, their life on earth isn’t the end of it all. They have more. One women wrote this, regarding the tremendous sacrifice of the White Rose students: ‘You can live without owning anything. But you can’t live without having something ahead of you, ahead of you in the sense of something inside you. You can’t live without hope.‘
Of course, there is nothing greater in which we can invest our lives than imparting the beauty of Christ’s reign into the very real world of this day, blessing people in the name of Christ, and inviting people to both be reconciled to God and join in the work of manifesting His kingdom. Hans and Sophie were exemplary and inspiring to me, not only because of their courage, but because their courage came wrapped in lives well lived. Clearly enjoying good food, the mountains, poetry, and good conversation, they nonetheless held the courage of their convictions in such a way that they were willing to lay everything on the line for the sake of their call. It cost them their lives, but their testimony lives on.
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us…lay aside our weights of sin, fix our eyes on Jesus, and run our race.” May we too be joy filled people who love God, love others, and stand firm!!
Cheers… from Austria