On Saturday, February 18, the Church commemorates Dr. Martin Luther. Today, February 16, the Church celebrates LCMS President Dr. Matthew Harrison. Today, he went before congress along with a Catholic Bishop, a Jewish Rabbi and 2 Baptist teachers and testified about the recent HHS mandate regarding the providing of birth control to employees of religious institutions.
I watched most of the hearing live. I also was following the messages posted to facebook. As a disclaimer, over 90% of my facebook ‘friends’ are LCMS Lutherans, and 75% of that 90% have been a student at one of the two LCMS seminaries.
But more than one of my ‘friends’ posted that they were proud to be members of the LCMS today because of the powerful testimony given by President Harrison. And several of their ‘friends,’ including myself, chimed in by ‘liking’ their posts and commenting on how well he did today.
And to be fair, the Catholic Bishop also did well, understandably fielding the most questions, and the Jewish Rabbi did well giving a slightly different perspective on the issue.
But ultimately, today came down as another day in the now 40 year fight for life. There were many positive comments for all of the men who testified, but not everyone was singing their praises. Surely there are some, like the members of the committee, who bemoaned the fact that this was some sort of infringement on a divine right to prevent life and end it at will when it comes to pregnancy.
But tonight, their arguments ring hollow. Today belongs to the pro-life movement, which includes the Roman Catholic Church, the LCMS, and other such bodies who recognize that life is precious from the moment of conception to the moment when one enters the arms of Jesus.
But let us not forget that today is just a day. Before the hearing was even over, many had already written its validity off. And sadly, this hearing was probably mostly political grandstanding by some congressmen, as the President of the United States shows no inclination to repeal his health care law, let alone alter a provision which allows churches to practice what they teach.
Today is a good day, but tomorrow and the day after may not be so grand. Let us remember that today, and all its glory, came after almost a month of misery, first with the Susan G Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood and then with this HHS mandate.
Nevertheless, I am reminded of what Dr. James Lamb, executive director of Lutherans For Life said a few years ago as we approached Life Sunday. He said, the battles continue here with court cases and states regulations and the prayer vigils at abortion mills, but the war has already been won by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Today was a good day, one that the Church will not soon forget. I know I won’t. But today was also a day in which we were once more reminded that we fight these battles valiantly here on earth, knowing that the victory has already been secured for us by Jesus.