Mark Stein said yesterday that we have made ourselves a society that is too stupid to survive. It may sound like hyperbole but history is replete with examples of societies that did not survive because they became stupid and lazy and simply degenerated. The Roman Empire declined because it imploded, it’s politicians, emperors and civil servants became corrupt and incompetent and people lost trust in them. Common sense acts that could have saved society were never contemplated and a casual reading of personal letters and correspondence of the ordinary people that made up a society are rather sad. One comes away with the feeling that individual citizens had a distaste for life, ingratitude to parents for having given it, unwillingness to repeat the pattern on to a new generation and a kind of malaise that showed a tremendous lack of joy. There is a sense that people were to a point where they felt that not only were their Gods unjust but the created order itself was corrupt and life was not worth living. Rather than search for the good and work on doing what could be done they fell into a kind of self loathing. The enemies that invaded actually seem to have the opposite attitude and actually took to the Gospel of Christ and became missionaries themselves. They were anything but stupid. They took the good and drove out the bad and moved forward forming a new civilization. Of course there will be those who disagree with me but the Germanic invasion was probably the best thing that happened for the spread of the Gospel at least.
People have always questioned God’s goodness and sometimes the meaning of life itself as if they were being punished. Old Testament lesson today reminds us by Ezekiel that God’s people were going around saying, “God is not just”. In the Gospel, chief priests and elders question the authority of Jesus. They acted in stupid ways and it was nothing new. What makes the world different today is that fact that the Gospel has been proclaimed and the Good News of Christ has been let loose in the world and it will speed on and conquer. There is a malaise today that views the Gospel as bad news and the view seems to be spreading.
We won’t be using the lessons I mentioned in church. We will celebrate LWML Sunday and we will show how God is faithful and has promised that His church will survive all the trials that the devil, the world, and our own sinful flesh can throw at us. We will celebrate the great example of the LWML and their joyful response to God’s mercy and love through their witness and their service.
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