There's that moment when you realize that you are no longer one of the cool kids.
Now, yes, those of you who know me in person will say, "Eric, you NEVER were one of the cool kids." Socially, I will grant you that. I'm a nerd, it's okay. I have been in the Ministry 10 years. I've been paying pretty close attention to LCMS political-religious stuff for 20 (my dad is a mentor and a teacher.. he brought me to Nebraska confessional meetings while I was in High School).
And keep in mind, some of this is just me being retrospective as I'm coming up on 10 years in the pulpit, and I've been thinking about what I am teaching now and what I taught then and what my dad taught 20 years ago.
I guess I'm not one of the cool kids anymore. Not because *I* changed that much. Nope, the "cool" game has changed.
See, I tend to be steadfast in my loyalties. As said above, I'm a nerd - a Star Wars Nerd, to be specific. And yes, there are other things I love and enjoy - Transformers when I was a kid, Firefly, Dr. Who - but my first great love has always been and remains Star Wars. We are turning the office into my second son's room, so I got to reshelve my Star Wars books... I saw my fandom put forth in tangible means - and the consistency of that fandom. Stuck with the Expanded Universe novels since it's 1991 rebirth. And then picked up the older novels from the late 70s as well.
Eh, Star Wars Nerds are not the chief nerds anymore - they might be again if the new movies are really HOT... but maybe not. Thus is life. The world swirls around me, and I am who I am.
I'm not one of the cool kids theologically anymore, either.
My great love, trained in me by my father, has always been simply the Gospel. Christ Crucified for sinners. That's the point. Always the point.
And for a while, that kept me with the cool kids, or at least tied to them. Sure, you support the traditional liturgy, not because you *must* but for the sake of the Gospel which it so clearly declares (wasn't that Luther's approach?). Sure, I'd support these candidates, because they better taught the Gospel. Sure, I'd study the Confessions - for they are a beautiful exposition of the Gospel.
Well... the winds have changed. I think Presidents Obama and Harrison were the death knell for my coolness. In the world - ack, the libs have the white house, we have got to do something! In the church, we've got power and control, we have the guy who cracks the Law Whip, so let's nag him more and more to use it to fix the church. And that's just not... me. Where's the Gospel?
And so, most of the causes of the day... I stick out like a sore thumb. An ignored watchman. Where's the Gospel? Where's the Scripture? Where's Christ in all this?
Alas, I am no longer involved in all the happy planning that goes on. I am a man without a political home. I'm too "conservative" for the liberals (although a nice enough fellow)... I'm not one of the club with the Conservatives. No one involves me in their political plottings anymore.
Of course, that means I'm still just where I started. With the Gospel. On Christ the solid rock - and as I see all the panicked swirling and discontent and fear in the sinking sand of social and political issues around me... that's not a bad place to be.
Maybe someday the Gospel will be cool again. When it is, y'all are all welcomed back.