In 1940 the Nazi war machine overran France. After the surrender of the French forces, André Trocmé, a pastor in one small corner of France, told his congregation how to face an enemy who tried to do violence to their consciences. “We will oppose them with the arms of the Spirit. We will resist when our adversaries demand things of us that are contrary to the gospel. We will do it without fear, without pride and without hatred.”
In the following years the people of his community, Chambon-sur-Lignon, hid several thousand people, many of them Jews, from the Nazi forces. For the most part they were able to do it without detection, although the Nazis did capture a few, including the pastor’s brother, who died in a Nazi prison camp.
May André Trocmé’s message be alive among Christians today. It is only by the arms of the Spirit that we can stand against evil “without fear, without pride and without hatred.”