This review is and is not about the movie Lincoln, which is very good, and I would recommend for your viewing pleasure.
The movie Lincoln causes one to look at the politics of war and ones place in history in a way that is not always so cut and clean. The prime examples are first Abraham Lincoln’s reluctant strong-arming of congressmen into voting for the 13th Amendment, and then his role in bringing a delegation from the Confederate states in to discuss a potential peace treaty, and the question of whether or not he is doing so and the meetings proximity in time to the vote in Congress.
The explanation for this, and the relation of others in similar positions of power and the complexities connected to it, is given by Lincoln himself when in one scene he asks two telegraphers if they lived to fit the times, or did the times fit them.
In other words, were they actively influencing events by their own actions, or did they sit back and live according to the events?
The answer from Lincoln is obvious that he is actively influencing the events of the day; as opposed to one of the telegrapher who was sitting back and waiting for things to just happen.
Are you waiting for the stars align in your favor, or are you moving the stars into position yourself?
This is particular to the Church today. I love the theme for the 2013 LCMS Convention: Baptized for this moment. Today, right now, this is the moment that you and I have been placed into. We are the ones who have been given the challenge and the charge to actively advance the Gospel in the world today. No, things are not going to be easy; no, things are not just going to fall into place.
We have been called to use the events and opportunities around us to our advantage in advancing the Gospel both at home and abroad. Sitting back and doing nothing, and just hoping that everything will work itself out is not acceptable. The Word needs to be preached; missionaries need to be sent; the Gospel needs to be proclaimed.
The conclusion of the movie Lincoln is that Lincoln was the right leader at the right time who through his efforts brought about a desired result that benefited the nation then, and still does today. The same can be said about Luther, Chemnitz, Walther, and countless others throughout the history of the Church.
We like to say that if Lincoln were alive today, that he would solve all the nations problems, in the same way we speak about Luther and Walther, that if they were here, everything would be ok.
I do not know if that is true or not. Great men like these could probably work well in any age. But what I do know, is that they are not here today; you and I are though. You and I and the rest of the Church are the ones who have been charged as the current caretakers of Christ’s Church. We have been baptized for this moment. How will we react?
Will you sit back and wait for that perfect moment that may never come?
Or will you go out and make that moment happen?