Home » Central District News, District Presidents, Headline

Good News to Proclaim!

July 8, 2016 No Comment

by Arron Gust

Rev. Arron Gust is a Vice President of the Central District of Lutheran Church–Canada.

Rev. Arron Gust

Recently the government of Canada passed bill C-384, a bill which allows Canadians the legal right to kill themselves. Interestingly, people on both sides of the issue remain upset. Those in support of physician-assisted suicide are upset because they feel the bill does not go far enough; those opposed continue to argue any legalization on the issue is immoral.

These are, of course, gross oversimplifications of the many concerns people hold on both sides, but as Christians who hear the Good Shepherd we have a Good Word to proclaim in the midst of these discussions.

You see, when all is said and done, what lies at the heart of the debate are people’s fears. Fear of suffering, fear of death, fear of not being in control—fears which are amplified in the absence of hearing, knowing, or trusting the Words of the Good Shepherd.

What lies at the heart of the debate are people’s fears—fears which are amplified in the absence of hearing, knowing, or trusting the Words of the Good Shepherd.

Now, I don’t know anyone who would rationally want to suffer or intentionally go through the hardships of a debilitating disease, but the Good Shepherd reminds us it is not our decision to end our life or the life of another—a life which He Himself redeemed with His own death and resurrection.

Psalm 23 teaches us something very interesting about the Good Shepherd, and that is He does not remove us, nor take us around the valley of the shadow of death, but He leads us through it.

In the same way the Father used the suffering and death of His Son Jesus Christ to bring us forgiveness, life, and salvation. He can, will, and does work through our sufferings, as we confess what the Good Shepherd has done for us, in this valley of tears and joys called life.

In the days leading up to the passing of bill C-384 Josh Paterson of the BC Civil Liberties Association said in an interview with CTV he was worried that if this bill does not pass, “people would have to take their lives in an unsafe way!” The last time I checked taking one’s life is never safe.

Dear baptized friends, this is our moment to speak up and confess to our neighbours and those going through these tremendous battles of suffering the Good News God’s baptized children take for granted every day. To speak up and say there is no safe way to end your life… but there is a safe way to die. And that is to die in Christ, to die in the Good Shepherd, to trust His baptismal gift of death and resurrection as the only safe way through death. As He leads us through this valley of the shadow of death, He will grant the grace to accept our afflictions—all the way into life everlasting.

This is our moment to speak up and confess to our neighbours there is no safe way to end your life… but there is a safe way to die. And that is to die in Christ.

Upon the cross Jesus became sin for us. His death is our death. And the open, empty tomb is a testimony that death has lost its sting; the grave has been vanquished.

This is the only Good News we are given to proclaim. It is the only news that will open the ears of those sheep who are not hearing the Good Shepherd’s voice, the voice which promises that nothing in this life—not disease, nor pain, nor suffering—can snatch you out of His hand.

———————

Rev. Arron Gust is a Vice President of the Central District of Lutheran Church–Canada.