So I’m hearing through the grapevine that many religious leaders over in Minnesota have sent several letters to the governor regarding the opening of churches. My understanding is that he has answered none of those requests. I have also heard that groups of a judicatories have send letters and have not received answers either. It is one thing to be a responsive leader when it comes to making declarations and executive orders, but it seems to be another when those orders may be genuinely hurting people and not respond.
Now I hear that Lutherans and Catholics got together and with help of the Beckett fund finally got the Governor to respond. We need to hear more about that story.
The Prime Minister over in Britain made an interesting statement when asked what he had learned throughout this coronavirus crisis. He said “I have found out how easy it is to take peoples rights away, and how difficult it is to give them back”.
It might be good for us to remember that our rights don’t come from governments or Prime Minister’s, they come from God. Governors and politicians can try to take them away but only if we are compliant with the theft of what we hold dear. Lutherans have always been considered to be good citizens. In fact we are often criticized for being too good of citizens. We have a deep respect for government according to our understanding of the fourth commandment, and Paul’s admonition that all authority comes from God. We should also remember that the purpose of government is that we might live a quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness. Theological debate aside, when government causes confusion, chaos, murkiness, and despair, it is incumbent upon those who understand that in this country we are ruled by the consent of the governed, that’s us, it may be time for us to exercise some of those rights that we so quickly gave up a few weeks ago. Freedom of assembly is pretty important. Freedom of religion is pretty important.
I’m hearing more and more people say that religion, worship, and open churches are an essential service, which most of our church types asserted from the very beginning. The questions that I talked about a few weeks ago about so many things are starting. The finger-pointing about abandoning congregations, denying our calls as ministers, and a lot of other stuff is starting as well. It is going to be an interesting summer.
Right now the great day of Ascension has passed, and all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him. I believe that he rules all things in heaven and on earth for our benefit will continue no matter how many viruses are unleashed in our world, and how much chaos surrounds us because of principalities and powers. We celebrated Pentecost and as Luther said, the church was born from compassion. God wanted a small group that is His body to be a leaven and a saltiness that would permeate the darkness like a city shining on a hill. That seems fairly essential to me.