The Lutheran Curse…What Happened?

****Disclaimer:  This is another tongue-in-cheek post. It is meant to entertain, not inform.  However, there are some historic facts contained therein which are indeed true.

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Those of you who follow this blog faithfully know that I have previously written about what is called The Lutheran Curse.  So when the Cubs won the World Series, I was puzzled.  I knew that our museum had not yet even received the first dollar of ransom payments to release the Cubs from their Lutheran Curse.  How could it be that the Cubs still managed to win the Series?

After much thought and a little Bible study, I now know why.  There is an interesting historic fact that is part of this explanation.  The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod conducted the last of its organizational meetings in 1847, its new constitution was signed, and a new synod was formed.  That meeting took place in…..you guessed it…..Chicago.  (By the way, one previous organizational meeting was also held in Cleveland.)  We have an interesting book in our museum which tells this story of the synod’s development.

how-the-missouri-synod-was-formed

The final meeting was held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in downtown Chicago.  The pastor of this church was Rev. Augustus Selle.  When he took a call in 1851, St. Paul’s called Heinrich Wunder to be their second pastor.  Rev. Wunder was one of the five young men who graduated from Concordia Seminary in Altenburg.  Rev. Wunder was no doubt instrumental in encouraging nearby Immanuel First Lutheran Church to call Rev. J.A.F.W. Mueller to their congregation.  As mentioned in the original post about the Lutheran Curse, Immanuel was in the midst of the scandal which led to  the curse getting its start. Rev. Mueller was the first graduate of Concordia, Altenburg.  A teacher at Immanuel First Lutheran School for many years was Theodore Ernst Buenger.  He once lived in Altenburg, and his wife, Martha, was the daughter of Trinity, Altenburg’s first pastor, Rev. Gotthold Loeber.  So there were numerous connections in downtown Chicago to this little village in East Perry County.

stpaulsmissourisynod
 St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – Chicago

This year is the 169th anniversary of the birthday of the LCMS.  Having had many years of experience as a Math teacher, I happen to know that 169 is 13 squared.  Yes, 13 times 13 equals 169.  This number and its factorization is very significant.

Here we have a Bible verse from the book of Leviticus:

“You shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall give you forty-nine years.  Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month.”  Leviticus 25:8-9a

This passage refers to a Year of Jubilee.  The Year of Jubilee was to be a special year of blessing.  Now the way I have it figured, a Year of Jubilee that is tied to a blessing would be associated with the number seven, a number implying perfection.  It would then make sense to me that a Year of Jubilee that would be tied with a curse, such as the Lutheran Curse, would be associated with the number thirteen.  So thirteen times thirteen years after the LCMS birthday (that would be 2016), there would be a year of grace…..a year when the curse would be put on the back burner so as to allow the fans of the Cubs a chance to celebrate.  After all, it was the ownership of the Cubs that caused the curse, not the fans.  Also, we LCMS members are a kind people, very willing to dish out the Gospel when needed.

However, the way I have it figured, the Lutheran Curse just has one year of reprieve.  The Lutheran Curse lives on.  The $200,000 ransom must still be paid.  Contributions for this cause can still be sent to the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum.  Checks can be made out to Perry County Lutheran Historical Society.  Please put “Curse Ransom” on the memo line of your check.  I should point out to Cubs fans that another 169 years is a long time to wait for another World Series title.  Send your money in soon.  You could have it paid off by next year and still have the opportunity to win it all again.  And we might be able to realize that building expansion we hope for at the museum.

In the meantime, for our beloved St. Louis Cardinals, is it any Wunder that there is always next year?

***Another interesting tidbit:  Next year, in the seventh month on the tenth day, it will be the day before the Major League Baseball All-Star Game……the day when the popular Home Run Derby will take place.  I would suggest that the Miami Marlins (that’s where the game will be played) have a trumpeter play the National Anthem.


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