There's some good homework for us this Independence Day. the lectionary texts are hereAnd as we — by our prayers — vanquish all the demons that stir up war, and lead to the violation of oaths, and disturb the peace, we in this service are much more helpful to the kings than those who go into the field to fight for them. And we do take our part in public affairs, when along with righteous prayers, we practice self-denying disciplines and meditations, which teach us to despise pleasures, and not to be lead astray by them. And none fight better for the king [and his role of preserving justice] than we do. We do not indeed fight under him, although he demands it; but we fight on his behalf, forming a special army of piety by offering our prayers to God.
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 in RichardSo I'm preaching this week, which means I'm doing the usual hunting and pecking around the internet... I have a very atypical request for a short sermon (no hour long biblical excursion!) but I have found an abundance of poignant materials for this upcoming week. This weeks' Gospel texts speak very much to the suffering we all face, and God's grace in it. In the Old Testament, underneath a touching lament of the loss of friendship is a bald display of the costs of war. I'll be preaching the NT, but I believe the OT speaks to our country very much in this next week. In Dan Clendenin's I'm Already Against the Next War, he reflects on the inevitable cost of war - whether in the Samuel narrative against the Philistines or in today's wars around the globe. Far more than discussing if war is ever right,he presses for our realization that war always brings a price we can scarcely imagine. Origen of Alexandria (185–254 AD), perhaps Christianity's greatest early scholar,[offers a repudiation the violence of war, military service, and even the state itself.]