BE OF GOOD CHEER, MR. RIDLEY

“Be of good cheer, Master Ridley, and play the man, for we shall this day light such a candle in England as I trust by God’ grace shall never be putout.” That advice was offered to Nicholas Ridley by Bishop Hugh Latimer, in 1555, as fires were lit under both of them tied to stakes in the public square in England during the Protestant Reformation under Bloody Queen Mary.

Today we live in a post-Christian, post-truth culture where we are increasingly ridiculed and marginalized, but I don’t know of a single Christian who is being forced to stand knee-deep in kindling. While the Bible prophesies hard-times, we are far from Reformation or Revelation levels.

There is a street name mentioned in the Bible—Straight Street (Acts 9:11)—and archeologists have even found an old engraved stone in Damascus indicating such, but nowhere does it mention Easy Street. In fact, as Jesus was briefing his disciples on his imminent crucifixion he said, I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Luther laid it out this way: “When the offense of the cross ceases, when the rage of the enemies of the Cross ceases, when everything is quiet, it is a sign that the devil is the doorkeeper of the Church and that the pure doctrine of God’s Word is lost.” (Commentary on Galatians)  

Well, then, we must be in great shape! Keep up the good fight, Christian! You can count on the win. Latimer’s light has not gone out, nor will it. Like “the Light of Men…the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).

“Count it all joy, my brothers…” (James 1:2).

See you in church.

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