From the Disk of the Pastor January 2011
Dear Friends in Christ,
Jesus said, “Martha, Martha you are anxious and troubled about many things...” They are familiar words. And indeed this was in many ways a wary Christmas, and a scary new year. We are troubled by many things. We have a weak president. His weakness continues to get us into ever greater problems. The economy is in shambles, unemployment and gasoline prices both keep rising, government spending is spinning out of control, and gross immorality is being promoted on official levels. Conflict drags on in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran and Korea remain volatile. For all that we know, 2011 could be the first year of World War III. We have in place the kind of weak leadership, in all too many places, that leads to conflicts. Many of us also are struggling on a personal level with finances, health, and other matters.
In addition to all this, there is rising persecution of Christian beliefs in our own country, which in theory is supposed to allow freedom of religious teaching and practice. With the laws passed regarding homosexuals in the military it is unclear if chaplains will still be allowed to teach what the Bible says. The LCMS, Roman Catholic Church, and numerous other bodies may be forced to withdraw their chaplains from the military. The ultimate goal of homosexual activists is to make it illegal for anyone, anywhere, to say that homosexuality is a sin. They have achieved this in Canada and yes, pastors have been fined and put in jail for teaching the Word of God. In Europe this is pretty standard in most countries, including historically Lutheran countries. In fact men have even faced reprisals for publically opposing women’s ordination in some Scandinavian countries.
So we are living in a Martha time. It is time when things are not good. It is a time when there is much fear. Consider what a major war would mean. And do not do this in general terms. Think of one person, perhaps a young person at church, a grandchild, child, so forth. It’s easy for me because I can think of those I’ve recently confirmed. That one person, if they are healthy, would have to go war. There would be no choice. While war is a necessary thing in a sin filled world, we don’t want war. We don’t want that young person to have to go to war. We don’t want them injured or killed. And we don’ t want them to have to kill others. Even though it might be a soldier’s office before God to kill the enemy, it is still a terrible thing.
Christ has something to say to us. It is just what He said to Martha. There is one thing needful. That one thing is the Word of God. God’s Word speaks to us in all times, all situations. He reminds us in His Word that He is genuinely in control. In II Kings 6 a young man thought they were about to be overwhelmed by the enemy. But then his eyes were opened and he saw that there was a host of angels between them and the enemy. We also need to be ever reminded of this. Whatever this year brings, Christ and His hosts are with us. We learn that in God’s Word. So this year, 2011, above all else needs to be a year of God’s Word. That, for us, is the one thing needful.
Rev. Jody Walter
Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.