Yes, I am bound this morning to say this is true. History repeats itself because we are not paying any attention to what has gone on before. We get caught up in hysteria (“excessive or uncontrollable emotion, as panic or fear”) and ignore the facts of yesterdays gone by. I’ve always seen history as His Story—God trying to break through in love, seeking to win his beloved to God’s dream of “a friendly world of friendly folk beneath a friendly sky.” This is the gist of the Biblical narrative and this is the central teaching of Jesus: Love God and love your neighbor. With Martin Luther of the 16th century this is where I stand and I can do no other. It is not a matter of politics for me—it is a matter of faith and practice.
After World War I, General Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff (1865 – 1937) said, “I reject Christianity because it is Jewish, because it is international, and because, in cowardly fashion, it preaches peace on earth.” Ludendorff was a supporter of German nationalism, both during and after what is known as “The Great War.” It is for those very three reasons that I accept Christianity. It is Jewish, (rooted in the noblest succession of ethical teachers in the ancient world); it is international, believing in one God and one human family, and it does preach peace on earth.
|On the train to Machu Picchu, Peru (see the light on the other side?)|
In these days of hysteria and of the dangerous idiocy of letting history repeat itself, may God help us all to take our stand, not with the Ludendorffs (and the Ludendorffs take on many guises) but with those in our nation’s history (Franklin, Jefferson, Washington, Lincoln etc.) who were not always orthodox, but who were deeply grounded in a faith in God and his Eternal Purpose.
We must not let history repeat itself--just read the history of our nation and you'll understand what I mean.