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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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When the TV lights go out

I love the church, this church. It never lets me forget.

The Earth shudders. The sea rises. And 200,000 people die. TV cameras capture the apocalyptic devastation and pathos of lost lives and loves. Around the country, around the world, millions dig into their pockets and give with unprecedented generosity.

It is impossible not to whisper "thanks" to the Spirit of God, stirring souls to express their compassion in ways that change lives in places far removed from their daily routines. At such times, the world shrinks. "Global community" takes on fresh significance.

Christian souls might imagine and celebrate the reign of God, that community of love, drenched in an eternal spring of mercy, breaking through the thick crust of human cynicism.

But then the TV lights go dark. The cameras find new horrors and diversions. And we forget ... and die, at least a little.


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