The result of 2 days of heavy fog

I was supposed to be at the Board for International Missions on the 3rd and 4th of February.  We also needed to meet and have the Project 24 commitee decide on the young people that would be traveling to Kenya in June (more on that later).  I decided that I would have my wife take me to Fargo, meet with the Distirict Presidents and the Project 24 guys, fly out of Fargo and get into St. Louis late on the 2nd, have the meeting on the 3rd and 4th, and the fly back to Grand Forks late on the 4th.  Upon arrival at the airport my flight was delayed and delayed again.  Worried that I might miss the connecting flight, I went to the desk and was informed about five minutes before everyone else that the flight was cancelled.  I know that there was a heavy fog and a storm in the middle of the country but these situations always make you feel like you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.  Do I give up and go home or try and rebook etc?  In this case I was told that the earliest I could get to St. Louis would be Friday night at around 6 pm.  That means that I would get into town just in time to see everyone come back from dinner and I could get up and meet for 4 hours and then come back home.  I put everything in the capable hands of John Edson the vice chair and waited for half a day for my wife to get me home from Fargo – the fog was very bad.

I enjoy the Board meetings.  I like the give and take and talking theology.  Matthew Harrison the President of our church body has a way of cutting through the fog and getting to the point.  Imagine my surprise then when I saw a letter responding to the Government’s Department of Health and Human Services demand that private health plans pay for contraception.  It cuts through the fog and explains why we are stuck between the “rock” of obeying God’s will and the “hard place” of obeying the Government.  Hre is a portion of President Harrisons letter –

 

For centuries, Lutherans have joyfully delivered Christ’s mercy to others and embraced His call to care for the needy within our communities and around the world. In a nation that has allowed more than 54 million legal abortions since 1973, we must consider the marginalization of unborn babies and object to this mandate. In addition, I encourage the members of the LCMS to join with me in supporting efforts to preserve our essential right to exercise our religious beliefs. This action by HHS will have the effect of forcing many religious organizations to choose between following the letter of the law and operating within the framework of their religious tenets. We add our voice to the long list of those championing for the continued ability to act according to the dictates of their faith, and provide compassionate care and clear Christian witness to society’s most vulnerable, without being discriminated against by government. The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, a church body of sinners redeemed by the blood of Jesus, has affected the lives of millions of people with care, aid, housing, health care, spiritual care and much more. We have been a force for good in this nation, promoting education (the nation’s largest Protestant school system), marriage and giving people the tools and assistance to be good citizens. We live and breathe Romans 13:3–7. The governing authorities are “God’s servant for good.” We pray constantly for our President and those in authority. We have sent our sons and daughters to fight for this country. We have provided military chaplains, elected officials, officers, including some who have held the highest military offices and other appointed positions in this country. Our people have and are serving as congressmen and women and senators. Increasingly we are suffering overzealous government intrusions into what is the realm of traditional and biblical Christian conscience. We believe this is a violation of our First Amendment rights. We will stand, to the best of our ability, with all religious and other concerned citizens, against this erosion of our civil liberty. Come what may, we shall do everything we can, by God’s grace, to “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). In His peace, nturies, Lutherans have joyfully delivered Christ’s mercy to others and embraced His call to care for the needy within our communities and around the world. In a nation that has allowed more than 54 million legal abortions since 1973, we must consider the marginalization of unborn babies and object to this mandate. In addition, I encourage the members of the LCMS to join with me in supporting efforts to preserve our essential right to exercise our religious beliefs. This action by HHS will have the effect of forcing many religious organizations to choose between following the letter of the law and operating within the framework of their religious tenets. We add our voice to the long list of those championing for the continued ability to act according to the dictates of their faith, and provide compassionate care and clear Christian witness to society’s most vulnerable, without being discriminated against by government. The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, a church body of sinners redeemed by the blood of Jesus, has affected the lives of millions of people with care, aid, housing, health care, spiritual care and much more. We have been a force for good in this nation, promoting education (the nation’s largest Protestant school system), marriage and giving people the tools and assistance to be good citizens. We live and breathe Romans 13:3–7. The governing authorities are “God’s servant for good.” We pray constantly for our President and those in authority. We have sent our sons and daughters to fight for this country. We have provided military chaplains, elected officials, officers, including some who have held the highest military offices and other appointed positions in this country. Our people have and are serving as congressmen and women and senators. Increasingly we are suffering overzealous government intrusions into what is the realm of traditional and biblical Christian conscience. We believe this is a violation of our First Amendment rights. We will stand, to the best of our ability, with all religious and other concerned citizens, against this erosion of our civil liberty. Come what may, we shall do everything we can, by God’s grace, to “obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). In His peace,

Matthew Harrison – President of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod

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