Over the ten years that I have been online, I have learned on lesson again and again: You cannot enunciate on the internet. There is no tone of voice. No sign of sarcasm or seriousness. Even with smiley faces,
A number of years ago I participated in AOL’s discussion group for the LCMS. Even there, getting to know the regular contributors, I was mistaken for a very Protestant idea of the Lord’s Supper because I was taken out of context, and the playful sarcasm in my mind did not translate onto the screen.
This week’s discussion of the observance of Laetare, and the varying expressions of it, once again bring this lesson to the forefront. I know all these people in “real life,” to one degree or another. And I like them all!
Knowing Sandra, I also know she hates being the center of attention like this. She also has such a respect for the Office of the Holy Ministry, that she would not “attack” or malign a pastor. I know she is cringing right now at the cackling of Satan as he tries to divide Christ’s people.
Knowing Pastor Petersen (albeit on a much lesser level), I admire his knowledge and catechesis on the liturgy. I enjoy hearing of the ceremony and rite at Redeemer, and appreciate what he shares on their website. I confidently trust that the people of Redeemer receive the Word and Sacrament with all this beauty, focusing on Christ and not the man in front of them – just as it should be in any parish.
Knowing Pastor Esget, I LOL’ed as he posted “Real Priests Wear Rose” in his tag line! I already knew what he enunciated in a later post. He does not take himself too seriously, and planned on his readers having a sense of humor. In no way, shape, or form was he putting down anyone who simply wore a violet stole, or variation of Lutheran vestments for the day. I know he was genuinely dismayed that his comments were made to be some sort of rallying cry.
Knowing Stan, I know his passion. He jumps at every opportunity to defend the Gospel. In a strong spirit of Luther, he can do that with cutting wit, or sharp “Here I stand”s. In a parallel universe, he would be the Gutenberg for HT’s Reformation Germany.
Knowing Pastor Borghardt, I know his servant-humility and Christ-centered ministry. Pastor Borghardt always has the question “How will this serve or detract from Christ and His Gospel?” in the forefront of his mind. His enthusiasm for proclaiming this Christocentric, one-and-only Gospel to our youth is unparalleled!
The Lord has placed an amazing team among us! Yet with well-intentioned friends of HT who may not know these individuals as well, a war of words has flown way out of proportion. Each of us can sing with glee: “I am baptized into Christ!” Each of us here is authentically Lutheran. Violet, rose, or pink, each of us celebrated Laetare, hearing Christ’s Word and (hopefully) receiving His Body and Blood, the Bread of Life!
As we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lord, recalling the great Gospel preached to the Blessed Virgin, we rejoice. As that Gospel was placed in her ear by the Holy Spirit for her to conceive the Son of God, we rejoice. As God’s messengers continue to preach this Gospel to us, conceiving faith and birthing new Christians, we rejoice.
Dear friends in Christ, don’t give in to Satan dividing us, or allowing him to cause ill feelings among us. No. Gabriel announces to you today: “The Lord is with you!” He tells you of the One who is great and is called the “Son of the Most High.”
The Son of Mary is come for you. And He will always speak in the clearest of words to you. Thanks be to our Incarnate Lord, whose enunciation is clear… on His Annunciation, and always!