21 November 2014

Another "aha"

from the Seed Grains. Long time readers of this blog might recall the firestorm unintentionally set off with this post on the emendation of texts that the Lutherans had practiced at the time of the Reformation. I find it interesting that Loehe carried one of these gems forward in Seed Grains, and it appears as prayer 205 (p. 118). All Hail:

All hail! King of mercy. Hail! Thou Who art the life, the joy, and the hope of our souls. We miserable children of Eve cry unto Thee. We long for Thee, sorrowing and weeping in this vale of tears. Hail, therefore, O Lord Christ! Thou Who dost intercede for us with God, turn Thine eyes, beaming with mercy, upon us, and show Thyself unto us, Thou blessed Son of God and of Mary, when the days of our misery shall have passed. O gracious, gentle, sweet and lovely Jesus Christ. Amen.

Similarly, he offers the Anima Christi (p. 118):

May the soul of Christ sanctify me. May the body of Christ preserve me. May the blood of Christ nourish me. The water that flowed from His riven side, may it cleanse me. In Thy holy wounds let me hide. O Lord, help me that I be never separated from Thee. Defend me against the evil one. In the hour of death set me down by Thee, that I may with all Thy holy angels evermore praise Thee. Amen.

That Ellipsis in the Friday Prayer

It's in our Treasury of Daily Prayer, on page 1313:

Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, we thank You... that You have redeemed us poor and condemned creatures.

The ellipsis has always bothered me. What was supposed to be there? But then I found the prayer in Loehe's Seed Grains of Prayer on page 125:

We give thanks unto Thee, Lord Jesus Christ, true God and Man, that by Thy holy sufferings, death and shedding of blood Thou hast redeemed us poor sinful and condemned beings.

So now that I know WHAT was missing, the question is why on earth would it have NOT been included?

20 November 2014

A Solemn Atmosphere

Today in our Churches we have an altar for the administration of the Eucharist, and we have platforms or pulpits for teaching the people. These objects were built not only to meet a need but also to create a solemn atmosphere.—Martin Luther on Genesis 2:9

Beautiful Luther Quote

We can state with certainty that where the Eucharist, Baptism, and the Word are, there are Christ, forgiveness of sins, and eternal life.—Martin Luther on Genesis Commentary (4:3).

19 November 2014

If you would remember

my friend Jennifer (who designed the header of this blog) in your prayers, I'd be grateful. Jennifer recently received word of a major health issue. 

Climb every mountain...

...or desk or table:

Commemorating St. Elizabeth of Hungary

From our Synod's website (and the Treasury of Daily Prayer):

Born in Pressburg, Hungary, in 1207, Elizabeth was the daughter of King Andrew II and his wife Gertrude. Given as a bride in an arranged political marriage, Elizabeth became the wife of Louis of Thuringia in Germany at the age of 14. She had a spirit of Christian generosity and charity, and the home she established for her husband and three children in the Wartburg Castle at Eisenach was known for its hospitality and family love. Elizabeth often supervised the care of the sick and needy and even gave up her bed to a leper at one time. Widowed at the age of 20, she made provisions for her children and entered into an austere life as a nun in the Order of Saint Francis. Her self-denial led to failing health and an early death in 1231 at the age of 24. Remembered for her self-sacrificing ways, Elizabeth is commemorated through the many hospitals named for her around the world.

The Treasury offers a beautiful prayer for the day, asking "Mighty King, whose inheritance is not of this world, inspire in us the humility and benevolent charity of Elizabeth of Hungary." (p. 929) She is a shining light for Christ's people, pointing the way to live welcoming every person as Christ, and every need and suffering as His own.

The Writing for today (from Dr. Luther) captures her spirit: "But if anyone earnestly believed that he is receiving the Lord Himself when he receives a poor brother, there would be no need for such anxious, zealous, and soliticous exhortations to do works of love...together with godly Abraham we would run to meet the wretched people, invite them into our homes, seize upon this honor and distinction ahead of others and say: 'O Lord Jesus, come to me; enjoy my bread, wine, silver and gold. How well it is has been invested by me when I invest it in You!'" (p. 928)

The Prayer of the Church

in the old Common Service is itself a powerful lesson in learning how to ask good things from God and to receive His varied benefactions with thanksgiving and praise. As I pondered that prayer this morning, I was particularly appreciative of this paragraph:

And although we have deserved Thy righteous wrath and manifold punishments, yet, we entreat Thee, O most merciful Father, remember not the sins of our youth nor our many transgressions; but out of Thine unspeakable goodness, grace, and mercy, defend us from all harm and danger of body and soul. Preserve us from false and pernicious doctrine, from war and bloodshed, from plague and pestilence, from all calamity by fire and water, from hail and tempest, from failure of harvest and despair of Thy mercy, and from an evil death. And in every trouble, show Thyself a very present Help, the Savior of all men, and especially of them that believe.

Three things stood out to me in that petition. First, our ancestors in the faith held that doctrine was not by any means a neutral thing. When it was falsified, it was pernicious: a danger that they ranked ahead of any temporal disaster that could befall. Second, that petition for preservation from "despair of Thy mercy." The very real danger of sinners being so utterly overwhelmed in their own sinfulness that they imagine that it could extinguish the ocean of divine mercy. Third, how fitting this prayer is for us to offer in the St. Louis area as we await of whatever will follow in the wake of the Michael Brown Grand Jury announcement.

The little volume An Explanation of the Common Service (now reprinted by Emmanuel Press and worth owning by every Lutheran), notes that the General Prayer has been "in almost its present form in 1553." The Muehlenberg liturgy insisted that it not be altered. The question is put: "Are the prayers of the Common Service preferable to free prayers?" and the answer given: "Yes. Because they are not the prayers of the Minister, but of the Church; not of a single congregation, but of the whole Church; and because each person may readily take part in them. The needs of God's people are ever the same, and the beautiful forms, which the Church has developed in her experience through the ages, give full expression to the believer's wants at all times." (p. 47) 

There's wisdom there.

A Video Introduction to the Book of Concord

I honestly can't remember if I have posted this before, but it's a video introduction to the Book of Concord I was privileged to offer at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in LaGrange, Kentucky a while back. It took Pr. Fraiser a few minutes to get the mic on me since I wasn't holding still, so the audio improves after a bit:

Intro to the Book of Concord

18 November 2014

You know...

...I DO enjoy doing the radio shows. But I think between last week and this, I ended up recording or doing 15 different ones, most being Thy Strong Word, of course, but also three Issues and a guest spot on Family Shield with Kay Meyer. But I'm definitely ready for Friday to be here and not to think about radio at all for one solid week. Still, had a blast today with former fieldworker, vicar, and dear friend Pastor Brian Holle today on Thy Strong Word doing Mark 4. Thursday's Issues show on the term "Eucharist" for Lord's Supper should be a lot of fun too. When all is gift, all is given, then there is only thanksgiving!

17 November 2014

Much joy

in researching "Eucharist" for this week's Issues Etc. show. Some modern day Lutherans dislike the term, but it was widely used among Lutherans of yesteryear...

15 November 2014

On food

Great meals today! 

Breakfast: sausage, egg (we get the best eggs from Shirley!), potatoes (reheated and fried) and spinach and onions. And Cindi and I MIGHT have downed two pots of coffee between us. And that ws before I pulled out the french press.

Lunch: a big salad with some of our home grown tomatoes (a handful left, still ripening in the kitching window) with all kinds of veggies and topped with wild caught smoked sock-eye salmon and hardboiled egg. Very, very good.

After I got the fire going

this morning, I stepped out onto the deck. It was still quite cold. In the 20's, I'm guess. That chill air and smell of a wood fire? It carries me back to Aunt Emma's or Grandma Bess's in a heartbeat. They both cooked over stoves that were wood fueled, and made some of the tastiest food you'd ever put in your mouth. But mostly I think of tramping in the woods in the cold, and that smell of the wood burning greeted you as you headed toward the house as the sun was setting and you knew that inside was everything most precious: the family gathered around the table, laughter, and stories. Odd how just the whiff of the wood fire and the cold brings it all rushing back to mind.

13 November 2014

Much joy today

as Pastor Day and I discuss Mark 1 on Thy Strong Word: