Peace and Good Government
Abraham, Patriarch
9 October 2018
At the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789 most British and American observers considered the revolution a pious people's movement reforming the decayed and oppressive administration of the French monarchy. However, the demons of chaos and blood lust were unleashed by the revolutionaries and wave after wave of slaughter washed over France and Europe until the conclusion of the Napoleonic wars in 1815. The revolution devoured with morbid equality both her own children and anyone unlucky enough to be near her gore slavering jaws.
 
Opposing the early English support of the French Revolution, Edmund Burke, the great British parliamentarian, wrote of the French revolutionary movement: "In the groves of their academy, at the end of every vista, you see nothing but the gallows." Burke recognized that rebellion against the order of the monarchy was rebellion against every order; every order, that is, except that enforced at the end of the bayonet or by the guillotine. When authority is flouted, Satan and his allies, death, war, and pestilence unleash great trouble.
 
Where civil government is supported, nurtured, and cherished great social goods are imparted and the peace and tranquility built by the support of good government will allow the gospel to be preached throughout our society. Today, the mud wrestling that goes on in our government (think: Kavanaugh hearings), will lead people who love this peace and tranquility to think twice before they run for public office or seek to serve their nation in public service. This will end badly for our nation and its governance. Yet, those who are committed to good government should still strive to serve their neighbor in public service, because such service is pleasing to the God who treasures this peace and public tranquility.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Martin Luther
"The person who is obedient [to civil government] is willing and ready to serve. He cheerfully does all that deals with honor. He knows that he is pleasing God and that he will receive joy and happiness for his reward. If he will not do this in love, but despises and resists authority or rebels, let him also know that he shall have no favor or blessing. Where he thinks he will gain a [dollar], he will lose ten times as much elsewhere. Or he will become a victim to the hangman, perish by war, pestilence, or famine. He will experience no good in his children and be obliged to suffer injury, injustice, and violence at the hands of his servants, neighbors, or strangers and tyrants. For what we seek and deserve is paid back and comes home to us (Gal 6:7)."

Martin Luther, Large Catechism, 1.151
Luke 20:19-26

The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor. So they asked him, "Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God. Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?" But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, "Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?" They said, "Caesar's." He said to them, "Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent. (ESV)
Prayer
Eternal Lord, Ruler of all, graciously regard those who have been set in positions of authority among us that they may be guided by Your Spirit, be high in purpose, wise in counsel, firm in good resolution, and unwavering in duty, that under them we may live quietly and peaceably; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
                                   
For Elizabeth Baker, who is gravely ill, that the holy angels would surround her bed
 
For all those receiving Christ's body and blood in the holy sacrament, that they would be strengthened in their faith through reception of the divine gifts
 
For the people of Florida, who are preparing for the arrival of Tropical Storm Michael, that they would be kept safe in property and body
Art: Albrecht DURER, The Adoration of the Trinity (1511)
Memorial Lutheran Church
smurray@mlchouston.org
http://www.mlchouston.org
© Scott Murray 2018
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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