Posts tagged “Parenting

Sermo Dei: Trinity 9, 2016

Posted on July 24th, 2016

God made man to give him gifts. God made the world out of nothing, and He made it for man. Man is the crown of God’s creation. God gave man everything in the creation. He gave it for Adam’s enjoyment and nourishment. He also gave man a vocation, a calling: He called Adam to be steward of the earth. As God’s steward, or chief manager, the man would exercise dominion, Godly rule in the earth. Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it, have dominion over every living creature. One thing alone was held back from the man: the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Why? Because God wished the man to know good alone, and not evil. As you…

The greatest and most useful work

Posted on June 3rd, 2015

Dr. Luther on child-rearing: Married people should know that there is no greater and more useful work than they might do for God, Christendom, the rest of the world, themselves and their children than to bring up their children correctly. For this is the most direct path to Heaven…. But, likewise, there is no easier way to earn Hell than through your own children. There is no more damaging work that could be done by parents than to neglect their children, to let them curse, swear, learn shameful words and songs and to let them live according to their own will…. There is no greater scandal in Christendom than the neglect of children…. A false love of nature blinds parents, so that they give…

Vocation and Virtue

Posted on September 5th, 2014

Vocation and Virtue: What’s the Purpose of a School? For Immanuel Lutheran School’s Back to School night; adapted from a longer essay written Spring 2014. Introduction Our culture pressures us to parent in unhealthy ways. Last Spring, the Washington Post had a feature on the parenting culture that drives children to succeed to the detriment of other values. The Post profiled Wilma Bowers, leader of a movement “that seeks to upend the achievement-at-all costs intensive parent and school culture” in northern Virginia. “There’s such a status thing here: ‘I went [to] Georgetown. I want my kid to go to Georgetown or better.’ It’s such a rat race,” says Bowers.… “Nobody is taking a step back and asking, ‘Is going to Princeton going to make me…

Vocation under the cross

Posted on February 3rd, 2014

To understand what is meant by the cross of vocation, we need only remember that vocation is ordained by God to benefit, not him who fulfills the vocation, but the neighbor who, standing alongside, bears his own cross for the sake of others. Under this cross are included even the most trivial of difficulties, such as: in marriage, the care of babes, which interferes with sleep and enjoyment; in government, unruly subjects and promoters of revolt; in the ministry, the whole resistance to reformation; in heavy labor, shabbiness, uncleanness, and the contempt of the proud. All of this is bracketed with the high and holy cross of Christ; but then that too was deep in humiliation when it was erected. Gustaf Wingren, Luther on Vocation,…

Advent reading, day 4: A son of tears

Posted on December 1st, 2011

Continuing the reading of Augustine’s Confessions; today, the end of Book III and the beginning of Book IV (Schedule here) Augustine covers several topics in this section: his mother’s prayers, thoughts on the nature of sin, his Manichean folly, and the beginning of his affair with the unnamed woman with whom he lived for many years. Some points that particularly stood out to me: People commit crimes for various reasons: revenge, greed, envy. “Or it may simply be pleasure in the misfortunes of others that tempts people to crime: this is the pleasure felt by those who watch gladiators, and anyone who laughs and mocks at other people.” As I have written elsewhere, I am glad to be rid of the football obsession that…

Atheism and the Santa Myth

Posted on December 9th, 2010

Passing through the undercroft today, where our school children eat lunch, I was greeted with the usual shouts of “Pastor!” I stopped to talk to the Kindergartners for a minute. For some reason I always get an update on the current status of loose teeth. So I asked one child who was wiggling a furious tooth, “What’s the Tooth Fairy paying these days?” He instantly responded, “I don’t believe in the tooth fairy.” Good for him. I’ve learned that much trouble can come when the pastor lets the elf out of the sleigh by informing them that Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny are not real. But I want to tell them the truth. I usually don’t talk about Santa at all,…