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Fiddling While Rome Learns

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Homily - Wednesday of Lent V

April 01, 2020
By Memorial Lutheran School
Homily for Wednesday of Lent V
Matthew 22:23-33
Memorial Lutheran Church and School
Pastor Paul

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is not the God of dead men. He is not the God of the dead brothers and the dead woman. He is the God of the living. Those who die, as all men and women and children do, and die believing in Him, are alive in Him.

The resurrection of the body is a quintessential article of faith for Christians. In just two weeks, either from home or in small assemblies at churches, the Christian Church will celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord: Easter. This is the hinge, the sine qua non, (without which there is none), for Christians. We do not believe in a dead God, but a living God. We believe in the crucified and risen Jesus and that by believing in Him we have life in him, both now and forever more. This is also the reason why Sunday is the chief day of worship for Christians: every Sunday is a little Easter, all year long.

Here in Matthew, Jesus is confronted by a group of 1st century Jews who did not believe in the Resurrection. They are called the Sadducees. They were considered within the pale of the 1st century pre-Christian "Church," but their views were wholly unorthodox. Their views did not match what the Bible (Old Testament) taught. The Holy Scriptures, the Old and New Testaments, teach the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting (Hosea, Daniel, the Gospels, 1 Corinthians, etc.). Oddly enough, although many of you may not have had experience with Christians of this sort, there are “Christians” today, like the Sadducees of old, who reject the truth of Christ’s resurrection and therefore the need for a physical resurrection for humanity too.

Today is no different from our Lord’s day. Human reason cannot grasp the significance 1) of the resurrection of the body and 2) that God is the living God. He is the God who created all that exists and preserves it. He is the God who took on human flesh in the person of the Son and lived, as we understand living. He is the God who died and rose and ascended bodily into heaven. It is an astonishing teaching. Many make little of the body. Many adults treat it with disdain in life and in death.

As we get closer and closer to the feast of Easter, bear in mind the glorious truth of the resurrection. As we are consistently confronted in the news and in life with illness, disease, dying and the fear of death; look to your God who is the God of the living and not of the dead. Hold fast to this blessed hope of life in God in Christ Jesus and do not let go, even when all seems pointless and lost.

God bless you and keep you as you learn at home.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Spring Break and Musings from C.S. Lewis

March 16, 2020
By Memorial Lutheran School

Classical Lutheran Musings on Current Events

MLS is on Spring Break this week. This is convenient as we all weather the ever developing COVID-19 situation. If one scours social media, many are posting excerpts from Christian thinkers that are releveant to our current situation.

C. S. Lewis is a staple for classical Christian schools. Many schools read The Chronicles of Narnia during the upper elementary years. High school students often read his more mature works, The Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, and The Space Trilogy. Our faculty read Abolition of Man last year, which is a poignant work on objectivism, subjectivism and relativism.

The following is taken from his essay "On Living an the Atomic Age" (1948), found in Present Concerns: Journalistic Essays. I've also posted a link to the C. S. Lewis doodle. As a side note, while on break that whole series is worth watching.

In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”

In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.

— “On Living in an Atomic Age” (1948) in Present Concerns: Journalistic Essays

-Pastor Paul