Love Letters to Everybody and to No One

love letterHave you ever written an anonymous note or letter to someone who you wanted to encourage or criticize without them knowing who you were? As a pastor I get them all the time; “suggestions” for how to do church better or how to improve on my preaching. On a more romantic note, when I was in the sixth grade I used to write anonymous notes to girls that I liked and would place them in their desks during recess.  “Dere Betty, I think yur cute. Have a nice day. Yur secret admireror.” I loved to watch them smile as they read the notes and looked around trying to guess who their Prince Charming was. Times have changed… now we have a national movement that encourages the writing of love letters that are truly anonymous; the writer doesn’t know the recipient who, in turn, has no idea who the writer is. Yep— the object loved does not know the lover, and the LOVER DOES NOT KNOW THE OBJECT LOVED. Continue reading “Love Letters to Everybody and to No One”

The Anatomy of Adultery

The old warrior was alone; he could not sleep. He had been the commander of his nation’s army, but now he was too old to fight and had been given more “administrative” responsibilities. He had reached the top of his profession and now he had the time to write his memoirs. However, he couldn’t sleep that night so he sat on the roof top of his palatial mansion and looked down upon the smaller homes surrounding his— almost as if they were bowing down to his greatness. It was then he saw her; a beautiful woman taking a bath on her roof top, a private place to anyone who lived in an ordinary dwelling. However, he wasn’t ordinary; he was David, the king, and his roof top was higher than hers. So goes one of the most sad and sordid stories in the Biblical account, starting in 2 Samuel 11. It changed everything for David, his family, and his nation. Nothing would ever again be the same. Lately, we have been hearing about another old warrior by the name of David, who also fell off his roof top into adultery. Continue reading “The Anatomy of Adultery”

Post-Election Fright

The election did not go the way many Christians wanted and some are being overcome by fear of what the future might bring. However, my prayer and my confidence has always been that God’s will be accomplished in any election no matter what the outcome. Some may think such a perspective is naive, but I think it is a very realistic way to live as a Christian in a very imperfect world. On the one hand, I “render to Caesar the things that are his”… namely, I fulfill my responsibility as a citizen and will always continue to vote for the candidate which I believe best stands for the values of God’s kingdom (although that is getting more difficult these days).  I also “render unto God the things that are His… in other words, I will leave the results of the election in the hands of my Sovereign God and trust Him for what He is accomplishing. I believe that trusting Him implies that I will not fear the future. Continue reading “Post-Election Fright”

Luther or Khomeini?

On this day after All Saints, what does Martin Luther have in common with the Ayatollah Khomeini? Very little, except for each man being radically committed to his faith. The radicality of Khomeini has produced thousands of refugees fleeing Iran because of its religious oppression, while the faith of Luther has been a means of conversion for thousands of these Iranians immigrants to Christianity. Germany is home to the largest Iranian community numbering 150,000. In an article in Christianity Today titled The Other Iranian Revolution (July/August 2012), Matthias Pankau and Uwe Siemon-Netto chronicled the impact of the gospel on Germany’s Iranian population, especially among the Lutherans. Twelve years ago, a tiny independent Lutheran church in Leipzig began teaching German as a second language to refugees. The church used Luther’s German translation of the Bible as a textbook. Continue reading “Luther or Khomeini?”