Posts tagged “Slavery

Sermo Dei: Invocabit 2017

Posted on March 6th, 2017

What would you do if you could do anything? The great basketball coach John Wooden said, “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” It’s those moments when no one is watching when our true self emerges. When you can do what you choose, what do you do? And if you could choose anything, what would it be? Among the most common myths is that you can achieve freedom by having more resources and less responsibility. If you had more money and less work, then you’d be free. If you had more time and fewer people making demands, then you’d be free. It’s a lie. Freedom is not found in time or money. And slavery is…

Sermo Dei: Septuagesima 2017

Posted on February 20th, 2017

February 12, 2017 • Matthew 20:1-16 • Immanuel Evangelical-Lutheran Church, Alexandria, Virginia On Bourbon Street in New Orleans, a sign advertises a so-called gentlemen’s club. It’s not for gentlemen. This particular den of iniquity is called “Temptations.” The gaudy neon sign displays an apple. The devil himself is mocking the people there: “I don’t even have to try with you, because either you humans don’t know your own story, or you’ve relegated it to myth. You are easy prey.” But the audacious display of hedonism is not the only shingle the devil hangs out. In more refined places, his signs are lit with a softer glow, the lettering elegant, the product respectable. He has written “Temptations” with invisible ink. And you buy what he’s…

Sermo Dei: Oculi 2016

Posted on March 7th, 2016

On June 16, 1858, the Republican State Convention met in Springfield, IL, and chose Abraham Lincoln as their candidate for senate. Lincoln’s speech that night is said to have cost him the election, but eventually propel him to the presidency. Outlining the Republican position that slavery must be ended, Lincoln turned to the Scripture passage read as part of today’s Gospel (Lent III [Oculi], Luke 11:14-28) and used the same analogy concerning a country divided by slavery: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.  It will become all one thing or all the other.  Either the opponents of…

Sermo Dei: St. Titus

Posted on February 6th, 2014

Who is a human being? In America’s terrible history of slavery, some people were judged as less than human, and not accorded the basic dignity and rights that belong by nature to every member of our species, homo sapiens, man made in God’s image. Who is a human being? In Germany’s terrible history of the holocaust, some people were judged as less than human, and not accorded the basic dignity and rights that belong by nature to every member of our species, homo sapiens, man made in God’s image. Who is a human being? In modern America’s obsession with sexual excess, some children who naturally result from these unions are judged as less than human, and not accorded the basic dignity and rights that…

Sermo Dei: Trinity 13 [2 Chr. 28:8-15]

Posted on September 2nd, 2013

“God punishes one thief by means of another” (Large Catechism). So said Luther about stealing. Something similar could be said about the war between the kingdoms chronicled in today’s Old Testament reading. The Jews had divided into two kingdoms, one called Israel and the other called Judah. Judah was led by a wicked king named Ahaz, perhaps the most notorious miscreant in David’s long line of sons who ruled in Jerusalem. Therefore just as God punishes one thief by means of another, so He punished one bad king by means of another. Israel went to war with Judah,  and this is what happened, in the verses immediately preceding our first reading: “[Ahaz] was also given into the hand of the king of Israel, who…

Our littlest neighbor needs our help

Posted on January 31st, 2013

Peter Scaer’s presentation at the recently held LCMS Life Conference was pointed and convicting, prophetic speech to a slumbering synod. His article in the recent Lutheran Witness is also vital reading. Here’s a paragraph: Some might say that [abortion] is a religious matter and that we should stay out of politics. But Christians can and must act as we are able. Many of those who fought against slavery or championed civil rights were motivated by Christ’s love for people of every race and tribe. Now, our time has come. We must put our faith into action by defending the most defenseless among us. With Christ, we must speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. The child in the womb is our littlest…

[Sermo Dei] LCMS Life Conference: We Must Help the Weak (St. Titus, Acts 20:35)

Posted on January 26th, 2013

“All life is not equal.” These are the words of Mary Elizabeth Williams, in her Jan. 23 Salon article, “So what if abortion ends life?”  Williams acknowledges the humanity of the aborted child, yet justifies the taking of life with that chilling statement, “All life is not equal.” She observes that we make other judgments regarding the taking of life, such as by drone strikes, capital punishment, or allowing a patient with a terminal illness to die. But of course, the unborn babies in question are not criminals or terrorists, nor in the throes of death. “All life is not equal” is the lie that upheld slavery for so long in this great land. “All life is not equal” is the lie that upholds…

Modern-day slavery, revisited

Posted on October 22nd, 2011

It began in earnest with the “modern-day slavery” comment. That’s when I seriously considered giving up a life-long obsession with the Purple. As the Lockout continued well into the summer, I found myself hoping that the season would be cancelled. It would make my life easier. No more anxious Sunday afternoons, worrying about getting home in time for football. No more time sitting in my car, listening to the Vikings feed via satellite radio. No more obsessively watching every roster move. No more studying running back depth charts to get a leg up on the maniacal lawyers in my fantasy football league. Most importantly, no more being suckered, for yet another year, into dreams of a Super Bowl victory only to end in some…

Modern Day Slavery?

Posted on March 16th, 2011

Adrian Peterson, star running back for the Minnesota Vikings (one of the 32 football teams in a league that is having trouble figuring out how to survive on a mere $9,000,000,000 per annum) said yesterday that playing in the NFL is “modern-day slavery.” I guess if slavery involved making millions of dollars a year, having adults across the country praising you, and kids dreaming about being you — yeah, that sounds a lot like slavery to me. You can read all about it here. Dear Mr. Wilf: Is it too late for me to return that Adrian Peterson jersey I spent $80 on? (I’ve got a Favre one too that I’ll sell back at a real bargain.) Sincerely, A Former Fan