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“God keep our land glorious and free!” With passion and conviction, we sing this phrase in our national anthem. As we approach July 1, Canada Day – the 157th anniversary of Confederation – may this phrase – a prayer – remain forefront in our hearts and minds.

As I remember this phrase I am reminded of a man who lived in Germany during the terrifying Nazi years. His name is Martin Niemoller. Martin Niemoller was born in 1892 into a Christian home. He lived through the horrors of the First World War. After the war, he enrolled as a theology student and was ordained as a pastor in 1924. He pastored a church in Berlin.

In the 1930s, when Hitler came to power, many people, including many pastors, supported the Nazis. Martin refused. He saw how Hitler distorted the church and Christianity for his own ends. One time, in 1934, Martin Niemoller was brought before Hitler and commanded to submit to the Nazi propaganda. Martin looked straight into the face of Hitler and refused. From that day on, the secret police, the Gestapo, followed him. He was arrested six times, but each time released the following day.

Then came July 1, 1937. While Canadians celebrated the 70th anniversary of Confederation, in Germany the Gestapo came again to arrest Martin. This time he was not kept overnight. He was put on trial and sentenced to 8 years in prison. This included four years at the infamous Dachau concentration camp. He, with only another 150 prisoners, was finally released by American troops in April 1945. In June he was reunited with his wife and family. Martin spent the rest of his life caring for people in Germany. He died in 1984, aged 92.

Why tell you this as we celebrate Canada Day? One time, shortly after his release in 1945, he was asked how he found the strength keep going while he was in prison. His answer was to quote Jesus’ words from Matthew 6:34: “Don't worry at all then about tomorrow. Tomorrow can worry about itself! One day's trouble is enough for one day."

Martin Niemoller’s life is a testimony to Christ’s faithfulness and the disciple’s perseverance by the grace of Christ. Canada Day brings much for us to celebrate but let us also remember to trust in Jesus each day. He alone holds us, and he alone holds the future. God keep our land and our lives under his grace that we may bring glory to him and live in the freedom Christ gives.

Grace and peace

Pastor Callum

P.S. Thank you for your prayers for me and my family. We are taking a break in July. The weekly devotions will return in August. May you know the grace of Jesus as we enter the summer season.

視頻大意翻譯 (video Chinese translation):


當我想到這句話時,讓想起了一個人,不是加拿大人,而是德國人。在可怕的納粹時代他生活在德國。他的名字叫馬丁·尼莫勒(Martin Niemoller)。他於1892年出生在一個基督教家庭裡。他經歷了第一次世界大戰的恐怖。戰後,他報名成為名神學生,並在1924年被任命為牧師,在柏林牧養一所教會。


接著在 1937 年 7 月 1 日,就當加拿大人在慶祝聯邦成立70周年之際,在德國,蓋世太保再次來逮捕馬丁。這一次,他沒有被關過夜。他受審並被判處8年徒刑,包括在臭名昭著的達豪集中營待了四年。1945年4月,他和其他150名囚犯最終被美軍釋放。6月,他與妻子和家人團聚。馬丁用他的餘生來照顧德國人。他於1984年去世,享年92歲。