Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Standing at the Crossroads

I'd been meaning to listen to a particular recorded presentation since my son Jon heard it live at the 2010 WordAlone Convention held back in April.  As I was driving to Minneapolis today to see someone in the hospital I listened to it on CD and was thoroughly blessed.  Today I called WordAlone and got permission from office staff to post excerpts "ripped" from the CD--I've started the process tonight.

This presentation entitled "Standing at the Crossroads" is by the Rev. Dr. Gemechis D. Buba.  Dr Buba is currently serving as the director of African national ministries in the ELCA. Originally from Ethiopia, East Africa, he brings a message of hope and encouragement that the Word of Christ, which brought faith to Africa, can now return to bring faith to those who originally sent it.

His text is from Jeremiah 6:16 -- I suggest you read the entire sixth chapter of Jeremiah to gain perspective.
Thus says the Lord:
    Stand at the crossroads, and look,
    and ask for the ancient paths,
    where the good way lies; and walk in it,
    and find rest for your souls.
Here a tiny excerpt I transcribed from the very beginning of his sermon--you can listen to the first 22 minutes or so by clicking here (mp3).  In his message Dr. Buba speaks the strong truth of God's Word.  During the first part of his message he says this:
...Brothers and sisters, Christianity is always standing at the crossroads and making a choice.  Always Christ turned to his disciples--in the Gospel of John chapter 6 verse he said "Do you want to follow me?  Or do you want to live like the others?"  Standing at the Crossroads, the Lutheran Reformation was born with three words:  Here I Stand. 

Where do you stand?  What is the foundation on which you are called to stand? 

Jeremiah was speaking to people in captivity.  They were running up and down--once to Jordan or to Egypt as if these neighboring nations would save them.  But the salvation of Israel was coming only from one place--there is no other choice--from God.  Jeremiah was telling the kings and the people, "Stand and wait for the Lord--for there is no substitute to faith in God alone."
With the permission of the WordAlone Ministries staff, I have uploaded the about 22 minutes, of Dr. Buba's sermon.  I encourage everyone to listen to it by clicking here (mp3). Please take time to listen to this gifted man of God.  Dr Buba is a great preacher--and he speaks the truth.

If you'd like to hear the rest of his presentation, talk with me and we'll loan you the CD.  It's good preparation for our meeting tomorrow evening, as all of us are called to stand on the Word of God.

In his message Dr. Buba tells the story of Gudina Tumsa, who chose tho stay with his Ethiopian people at the cost of  his life.  To learn more about this martyr, click his name.



  1. Steve, Thanks for sharing this. I am elated that an ELCA employee can speak freely ... I think that is what is so great about the ELCA-- it welcomes people with a wide range of views/opinions/theologies. Whatever we as individuals and congregations do, I think this great attribute of the ELCA needs to be born in mind. ALL God's children are welcome and can find a place in the ELCA.
    Ian Graue

  2. Yes, Ian, the same point was made at Monday evening's meeting. The two things that were mentioned most strongly as to what people appreciate about the ELCA were (1) The ELCA's support of those in need through organizations such as Lutheran World Relief and Lutheran Social Service and (2) a general non-judgmental attitude of that allows people to continue to talk with each other and work together in spite of significant disagreements.

  3. Dr. Buba phoned me a few minutes ago and we prayed together for our congregation. I had phoned him to ask a question and was delighted that he called me back. What a mighty God we serve!

  4. Pastor Steve
    Thank you for posting this, I listened to the sermon and was moved to tears. Thank you
    Jerry Seehusen

  5. Thank you, Jerry. Every time I think of you I am truly grateful to God. I was moved by Dr. Buba's sermon too... very much... maybe I'll just play it this Sunday at church and sit and listen instead of preaching myself. ;-)