I couldn't sleep last night so I watched the news on 10TV. The news anchors told the viewers to stay up and watch Letterman because he had a shocking confession. So, I did what all pastors are called to do... I listened to his confession. I was struck by a number of things: his nervousness, the audience's laughter (were they uncomfortable, did they think that this was funny?), and by a phrase that Letterman used in his confession. I quote: "I am just a towering mass of Lutheran mid western guilt" To which he thanks the audience for their applause.
I have good news for Dave, and all who are "just a towering mass of Lutheran mid western guilt." I hope and pray that somehow he and others will hear (or read this). Lutheranism is not just about Midwestern guilt, but also the grace of God in Jesus Christ. God's good news is that He sent His Only Son, Jesus, to pay the price for the sin and guilt and death that comes from man's separation from God. Dave, I hope that you remember that Lutheranism is not just about the Law and the showing of sin, but also the grace of God in Jesus Christ. Please listen to the grace of God in Jesus: For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ. For you have been saved by God's grace, through faith in Jesus, it is not of works, so that if you boast, then boast of the Lord. Come, let us reason together, though your sins are as scarlet, they will be white as snow.
You see, Dave, God's grace is for you in Jesus Christ. It is for all of us. When you are plagued by guilt, go to Jesus. In Him there is forgiveness and hope.
For if you confess your sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive you your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
Dave, you may have felt better saying what you said last night, but there is another way, the way of Christ. I pray that you will not suffer mid western guilt over this but find forgiveness in Christ. And that is worthy of applause.