What is the value of a friend? What about a marriage? Children? What is the net worth of a successful career, large house, and good health? How much does happiness cost? Is our whole life defined by the economic law of supply and demand? And, if that is true, what about the Christian faith?
I’m fairly involved with my church body and district. I’m not much the political type, at least I’ve never seen myself that way. But shortly after I was ordained as a pastor and much due to the influence of Bo Giertz in my ministry, I determined to do what I could to help promote the cause of the Lutheran faith where and when I could.
There’s been a lot of wringing of hands lately among Christians and political conservatives (and those two don’t have to be synonymous; Christians have freedom, too, in politics) about the decline of the West.
What would it be like if you were the king of a country or the President of the United States? The world would be your oyster. You would hob knob with the elite. You would be on the “A” list all the way.
Our God is the God who flung from His fingertips this universe filled with galaxies and stars, penguins and pulsars, geese and wild grass, Mastiffs and mountains, elephants and evergreens, parrots and potatoes, pacific cod, pears, and potato bugs.
Incredible joy, he will not let this stand. Merciful freedom, he hates every unbound step you take. A risen Savior who crushed his head, he will do everything in his power to drag you down to the pit with him.
As many of you sadly know, early on in the movie, “The Lion King,” the lion cub Simba loses his father. Fortunately, throughout the movie, we get to hear a theme song called “The Circle of Life” to make us feel better about death.
My mother-in-law, Grandma Kay, is dying. She is in hospice in Wisconsin. Her children and grandchildren come to visit her and to say goodbye. A month ago when my wife, Sonja, was visiting her, she announced to Sonja, “You are a phantom.”
The Bible looks at many things in this way, in a strange way when compared to our way of measuring the value and quality of human life. We imagine that the highest goal of anyone's life is to gather and stick away stuff, to gain much, to possess much, to become wealthy and care-free.
This is the first of seven words of Christ from the cross. Word, not in the sense of a single building block for a sentence, but word in the sense of something spoken, a promise made, a conversation had and oath taken.
Along with reading good stories, I’ve always enjoyed watching good movies, especially when they are full of imagination, drama, and adventure. Consider the classic World War II movie, The Great Escape.
Most of us have jobs as vocations that simply mitigate the effects of the fall. Whether we are doctors, nurses, policemen, firemen, soldiers, etc., we try to triage all the hemorrhaging, dying and societal ills of the world around us. Most vocations address the ugliness of the fall.
I remember seeing one of the versions of Night of the Living Dead when I was younger, one in which they used a discarded and forgotten military chemical experiment as the plot device which caused the dead to rise and begin chomping on the living.