Monday, September 29, 2008

St. Michael and the dragon

I don’t remember ever attending a service for the Festival of St. Michael and All Angels, so yesterday’s service at Bethany Lutheran College was particularly meaningful since it was the first time we got to see our daughter sing in the BLC Concert Choir. BLC doesn’t have regular Sunday services (students are encouraged to become part of local congregations or travel to their home churches), but they hold services on special occasions, such as the annual Fall Festival.

The service followed the Office of Matins. I really miss use of singing psalms! It reminded me of my ALC days in the 70’s. Chaplain Don Moldstad gave a good sermon on the corresponding scripture of the day. He gave an excellent message about the goal of the devil (to destroy your soul forever) and of angels (to protect your soul to heaven). He explained that sin is not just specific acts that the devil might convince you to do, but part of an overall plan to create a way to separate you from God…a pattern of guilt…a weaker friend who will seemingly try to pull you away from God. Sin isn’t just an act; its part of a plan to pull us away from God. There was also a reminder that the world will continually tell Christians that their faith in Christ is irrelevant, out-dated…like walking around wearing night goggles during the day (a reference to an earlier comparison of faith in Christ to wearing night goggles). Your church is one place to recognize your fellow soldiers, where your “night goggles” of faith won’t look out of place. Beautiful choir music, directed by Dennis Marzolf, and wonderful band pieces directed by Adrian Lo. I enjoyed singing two ELH hymns I’d never sung before, to my knowledge: I Walk With Angels All The Way (ELH 252) and We Sing Thy Praise, O God (ELH45).

Thursday, September 04, 2008

On voting for a woman ...

As a Confessional Lutheran Christian, I have been pondering the issue of men, women and headship in relation to the upcoming elections. I've done some research and found a very profound and timely commentary at

"...there may indeed be times when a Christian may come to the conclusion that a woman running for the office of president may be the best available choice. We may decide to vote for that candidate even though we would know that in a perfect world it would be otherwise. Often, it may be a judgment on the men of a nation that no well-qualified men step forward to lead.

Perhaps it may also help us to consider that even among God's Old Testament people, there was a time that he raised up a woman to lead Israel. In Judges 4-5 we see God using Deborah to help lead Israel against a nation that was oppressing God's people.

Yet before we make too much of that bit of Israelite history, we must remember that the book of Judges hardly holds before us an ideal part of Israel's history. In fact, the book of Judges reveals Israel often at its worst. What is more, Deborah's own words clearly indicate that things were not as they should have been in Israel. She vainly struggles to get Barak to take the lead of the armies of Israel without her by his side (see Judges 4:9)."