An object lesson for St. Patrick’s Day

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, a time to commemorate the former slave who escaped his masters, only to come back later to bring Christianity to the whole nation of Ireland.  By extension, it is a time to honor all missionaries.

St. Patrick, who lived in the 400s A.D., the time of the early church, was impressive for lots of reasons.  He is the author of the remarkable meditation/poem/hymn St. Patrick’s Breastplate.  It includes these lines, calling on Christ to be present with him in every dimension of his life:

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

Applying so many prepositions to Christ reminds me of an object lesson that a Danish pastor offered at the conference I spoke at recently. [Read more…]

Lutheran novelists

My daughter Mary Moerbe, at her blog Meet, Write, and Salutary, has been collecting Lutheran novelists.  She has put together a page that lists and links to the works of 14 living novelists who are also Lutherans.  If you know of others, or if you yourself are one, she would like to know about it.   [Read more…]

Why we celebrate St. Valentine’s Day

The influence of Christianity on our civilization is such that even secular-seeming holidays like Halloween and Valentine’s Day derive, if indirectly, from the church.  St. Valentine’s Day is a curious one, a celebration of romantic love.  I think this is a good thing to celebrate, but why do we do it, and what’s the connection with St. Valentine?

St. Valentine was a martyr for the faith, giving his life for his Christian convictions during the Roman persecutions.  (I hope someone is recording the names of the martyrs who are giving their lives for their Christian convictions during the current Islamic persecutions.  We should put their names on the Christian calendar too.)

But why is St. Valentine associated with romantic love?  You will hear stories that he secretly presided over weddings for Roman soldiers, despite the Emperor’s forbidding of marriage.  And that he gave a message–some say, shaped like a heart–to his jailer’s daughter, signing it, “your Valentine.”  You might hear other accounts of why he became the patron saint of lovers.

But those stories are late additions to the saint’s legend.  They were added after St. Valentine’s Day was already associated with love, the first time being in the 1380s.

I have an alternative explanation. [Read more…]

How God uses fiction

Someone whose life had become a shambles tells how God used fiction to save his life. [Read more…]

A blog for Lutheran writers

My daughter Mary J. Moerbe, herself a writer with whom I have collaborated,  has started a blog for Lutheran writers.  It’s called Meet, Write, and Salutary.  (Get it?)  It’s full of tips, information, advice, and support for Christian writers and Lutheran writers in particular.   Check it out.

Freeing the guilty, punishing the innocent

A Texas grand jury investigating Planned Parenthood for organ trafficking exonerated that organization and instead indicted the pro-lifers who made the videos in which the abortionists talked about selling fetal tissue!  In fact, the grand jury is charging the two filmmakers for trafficking in fetal tissue, since they formed a cover business supposedly seeking to buy fetal organs in order to get Planned Parenthood officials to talk.  The filmmakers could be facing 20 years in prison.

This reminds me of Ben Jonson’s play Volpone, in which the conman is caught in the act, yet in his trial manages to get his victims thrown into prison! [Read more…]


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