Luther on changing a baby’s diaper (rerun)

[Mollie Hemingway's quotation from Luther's "The Estate of Marriage" (1522) reminded me that I blogged on that sermon in 2007, several platforms ago.  So I thought I would rerun it.]

In working on an article about vocation, I was looking for the source of Luther’s famous saying about the holiness of changing diapers. I found his sermon “The Estate of Marriage” (1522) posted online here. A priceless excerpt:

Now observe that when that clever harlot, our natural reason (which the pagans followed in trying to be most clever), takes a look at married life, she turns up her nose and says, “Alas, must I rock the baby, wash its diapers, make its bed, smell its stench, stay up nights with it, take care of it when it cries, heal its rashes and sores, and on top of that care for my wife, provide for her, labour at my trade, take care of this and take care of that, do this and do that, endure this and endure that, and whatever else of bitterness and drudgery married life involves? What, should I make such a prisoner of myself? 0 you poor, wretched fellow, have you taken a wife? Fie, fie upon such wretchedness and bitterness! It is better to remain free and lead a peaceful. carefree life; I will become a priest or a nun and compel my children to do likewise.” [Read more...]

Vocation Day

Most people probably don’t know what they are celebrating on Labor Day–”something about Unions”–but we here at the Cranach blog have long sought to fill this holiday with meaning by turning it into a Christian feast commemorating the doctrine of vocation.

The term, which just means “calling,” is about far more than a person’s job, though it includes that.  We all have multiple callings:  in the family (as husbands & wives, fathers & mothers, sons & daughters), in the workplace (as employers & employees, in all the niches of the economic order), in the church (as pastors & laity), and in the state (as citizens & members of society in this time and place).  God, in His providential governing of the world, works through human callings, and the purpose of all vocations is to love and serve our neighbors.  Thus, our various vocations are the realms in which we live out our faith. [Read more...]

An evangelical pastor discovers vocation

We Lutherans don’t go in for “personal testimonies” very much, but after the jump is a “testimony” from a pastor who discovered the doctrine of vocation and tells about the difference that has meant in his ministry. [Read more...]

The problem with cops in camo

Why would police officers, as in those in Ferguson, Missouri, wear green camoflage jungle fatigues?  If it’s necessary to hide from urban bad guys, they should wear black, grey, and dirty white camoflage so as to blend in with asphalt, concrete, and dilapidated houses.  (Like this.)  The answer, of course, is that since most of our military’s fighting these days requires desert camoflage,  our government unloaded the jungle pattern for police departments and whoever else wants them.  So now the police are purposefully dressing up to look like soldiers.  This signifies a confusion of vocation. [Read more...]

“Greater love hath no man than this. . . .”

Another example of sacrificing yourself for your neighbor:

When Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Harris and Petty Officer 1st Class James Reyher descended to the murky depths of a pond at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., last year, virtually everything went wrong. Their equipment didn’t work right, the communication with sailors on the surface wasn’t clear, and debris trapped Reyher some 150 feet underwater in scuba gear.

But there’s more to the story. According to a report in the Virginian-Pilot newspaper on Sunday, Harris, 23, had the option to cut the line connecting him to Reyher underwater and survive. He refused to do it, though, doing everything in his power to free Reyher, 28, until both men died on Feb. 26, 2013. [Read more...]

Mollie Hemingway: Washington’s coolest scourge

We’ve linked quite a bit to the work of my friend and friend-of-my-daughters Mollie Hemingway, a confessional Lutheran journalist who is now a senior editor at The Federalist (a lively site of wit and intellectual firepower that you will want to bookmark).  Well, she is having quite a bit of impact in our nation’s capital for her searing take-downs of bad journalism, her funny critiques of feminist orthodoxy, and her insightful defenses of religious liberty.

She is the subject of two recent profiles, linked and excerpted after the jump.  One is part of a “Portrait of a Modern Feminist” series in which Mollie denies that she is a feminist, but impresses the author with her “erudition and wit,” as well as with the fact that her columns have become the talk of the all-important Washington, D.C., dinner party circuit.  The other profile focuses on Mollie as “the scourge of lazy journalists.” [Read more...]