Good Friday Sermon

[The following is Pr. Petersen’s sermon for Good Friday; “To subscribe [to the sermon list] send an e-mail to:”]

Outside the City of Peace a war rages. It is an epic battle and the hour of greatest evil. Everywhere we look it is wrong. Creation is fallen and is being abused by demons. Mary has the worst of all worlds. According to tradition, she is a virgin and a widow, doubly denied, and she must watch her only Son be mocked, tortured, and executed for crimes He did not commit. It is noon and the sun is blazing in the sky, but it gives no light.

Strangest of all, the innocent Man is rightly condemned. This is what His Father, who loves Him and is well-pleased with Him, wants. His Father, that just and jealous God of Abraham, is pleased to see Him become sin, to cut Him off from heaven, to hold back the angelic host. The Lamb’s limbs are stretched in cruel torture and pinned to the crossbeams of hate with vicious, tearing nails. His bones ached with guilt not His own. His soul suffered great agony. Then His heart ceased to pump and His side was split open and His life poured out upon the ground.

There, in the shadow of Mt. Zion, He who is Life, is dead. She who is highly favored of the Lord, that most blessed of all women, finds her heart pierced through and through. She knows suffering that no widow, no mother should ever know. Everything is wrong at the cross. Everything is broken. It is the mirror image of the original creation. Order is disintegrating. Virgins do not have children. Innocent men are not rightly condemned. God does not die.
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Monkeys with AIDS and Babies with Stem Cells

So monkeys–specifically, sooty mangabeys–carry the AIDS virus. Scientists in Georgia want to know why these monkeys don’t get sick. They can pass the disease on to other creatures who do get sick. In order to find out why these particular monkeys don’t get sick, the researchers have to expose them to viruses and do “invasive” surgeries. The problem? After the Yerkes National Primate Research Center started gathering and housing a colony of the sooty monkeys, they were placed on the endangered list.

The Yerkes center is trying to get around the law by promising to support sooty monkeys in the wild. Naturally, animal-rights activists aren’t happy with the trade-off.

What interested me was this line: “Also, [activists] argue, experimentation with sooties may not be fruitful.” I’m wondering if the same activists who worry about harming monkeys to help humans have the same qualms about harvesting stem cells (read: killing) from fertilized eggs (read: babies) to help adult humans. Maybe someone could call around and do a survey…