31 May 2012

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

[The song of praise] is not only performed in the presence of the Triune God but also involves the three persons of the holy Trinity.  It is an alien, counter-cultural activity, which is at home in no particular cultural setting here on earth.  Rather, it is heavenly in its origin and orientation, for it involves our participation with the angels in the heavenly liturgy. -- Dr. John Kleinig, "Singing with Grace in our Hearts" Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord, pp. 108, 9.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

O my Lord Jesus, how can I not extol the holy twelve apostles, since You made such a show of them in the Old Testament so long ago?  The twelve wells of Elim (Ex. 15:27) also depict Your twelve holy apostles, for their teaching refreshes me in fever and tribulation.  Just as Aaron wore twelve precious stones on his ministerial breastpiece (Ex. 28:21), so You equipped the twelve apostles for the ministry of the New Testament, wearing them on Your heart like a precious treasure.  Their teaching is the most precious treasure of my heart.  Just as the footstep of the high priest was perceived from the twelve cymbals on the hem of his garment (Ex. 28:35), so Your certain presence is discerned in the Christian Church whenever the teaching of the holy twelve apostles is sounded. -- Blessed Valerius Herberger, The Great Works of God III/IV, p. 297.

Patristic Quote of the Day

Jesus then really suffered for all men; the cross was no illusion, for otherwise our redemption is an illusion also. -- St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures 13,3.

30 May 2012

If you are looking for

a downloadable responsive version of the Athanasian Creed, your quest is at an end.  Just click here.  Have a great Feast of the Holy Trinity!

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

Like worship itself, the performance of the Lord's song is a super-natural, supra-cultural activity.  It is without analogy in any culture.  -- Dr. John Kleinig, Singing with Grace in Our Hearts, Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord, p. 108.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

You came into this world to shed Your blood that Your innocence might be passed on to us.  -- Blessed Valerius Herberger, The Great Works of God III/IV, p. 287.

Patristic Quote of the Day

So likewise have we been taught that the food that is blessed by the prayer of His Word, and from which our flood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. -- Justin Martyr, Apology 66

29 May 2012

Four days...

...to David and Meaghan's wedding.  Just sayin. 

As June is almost upon us...

...that means time for VBS in parishes across the Synod.  We remembered at our IC Chapel (and at CPH) the work of our VBS volunteers and the children who attend in our prayers last week:

28 May 2012

Memorial Day

and poetry answers where prose fails:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
John McCrae (1872-1918).

26 May 2012

A beautiful thought

on the Vigil of Pentecost:  "The Holy Spirit turns to joy whatever He touches." - St. Seraphim of Sarov

I've been thinking about the disciples being mistaken for drunks.  Whence such a supposition on the part of the crowd?  I think may be more than the flood of odd words (which, of course, it says they understood in their own languages), it was rather the overflowing joy that filled them.

All that the Lord Jesus did for them and for us all was for this end:  that the Holy Spirit might fill and overflow our lives, He who is (as Blessed Martin Chemnitz called him) the Personal Joy and Love between the Father and the Son.  Joy as a Person, Love as a Person.

How can we not then rejoice to join with the Church in crying out in these days:  Veni, Sancte Spiritus!  Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and kindle in them the fire of Your love!  This is joy itself.

23 May 2012


... I had a day with ZERO meetings, and so took advantage of that to get a handle on my work spaces.  At last both offices are beginning to depart from Tohu w' Bohu.  I spent much of today tidying up, going through old papers and such.  Earlier the good folks in General Services had installed my standing work station in the Director of Worship office, and today removed a part of my desk that I didn't need.  I left both offices today for the first time thinking what a joy it will be to arrive to their clean spaces tomorrow!  Home is almost completely organized; and work is not too far behind.  Yeah!  For a neat-freak, things are looking up!

22 May 2012

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

In Col. 3:16-17 [St. Paul] says that through His Word, Christ actually moves and prompts us to teach each other with Spirit-inspired, Spirit-filled psalms and hymns and songs and to give thanks to God the Father together with Him.  Thus, the word of Christ which dwells in the congregation, produces its song, even as it is the content of that song. -- Dr. John Kleinig, Singing with Grace in our Hearts, Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord, p. 107.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Great joy is commonly followed by great misfortune... All who love Jesus Christ in this world must get used to this.  Prosperity and adversity are always mingled together.  "God leads His saints in a wondrous way." -- Blessed Valerius Herberger, The Great Works of God III/IV, p. 274.

Patristic Quote of the Day

Glory be to thee, O Lord!  Glory be to thee!  What an abyss of love is in thee!  How great are the riches of thy forbearance!  -- St. John Chrysostom, On the Priesthood, III.15

21 May 2012

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

The church has, as St. Paul declares in Eph. 1:12, been given its allotted place in the heavenly realm and its allotted task as the choir that exists for the praise of God's glory.  In Christ it stands together with the angels in God's presence and praises the Father together with them.  -- Dr. John Kleinig, Singing with Grace in our Hearts, Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord,  p. 106.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Here we have the answer to the greatest and most difficult question in the whole world, to wit, Where is the Christian Church to be sought?  (1) Where Jesus Christ alone is set up as the cornerstone of our salvation; (2) where the Gospel is offered in such a way that people's consciences are purified by the astringent wine of repentance-preaching, and where the precious balm of Jesus Christ' all-availing blood is proclaimed; and (3) where the Word of God is heard and defended in its purity and without human inventions - there is Bethel, there is the House of God, there is the true Christian Church... Outside of this Church there is no salvation.  -- Blessed Valerius Herberger, The Great Works of God III/IV, p. 272.

Patristic Quote of the Day

Don't you know how good our Master is?  The tax collector went up full of ten thousand wickednesses, said only, "Be merciful to me," and went down justified.... What is there to equal this loving-kindness?  To the sorrowful so God speaks:  "I forgive him his sins."  -- St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on 1 Cor, 8:8.

19 May 2012

Crazy Week and Weekend

After getting back from Arkansas on Tuesday evening, the remaining week days flew by.  Thursday was Meaghan's graduation, which I missed.  But she is now a doctor of physical therapy!  Congrats!!!  AND she is gainfully employed.  Thanks be to God!

Friday was Dean's graduation.  I went to work early and came home early.  Cindi had started the grass and I finished it up.  We showered, ate a quick dinner, and headed back into St. Louis to see Dean walk the dais.  It was a great moment.  I got to chat briefly with Pr. Martin Schulz, whose son John, was also in Dean's class.  That makes FOUR generations of pastors for that family.  Wow.  What a beautiful heritage.  I remember Martin's dad and thought the world of him (and also of Martin).  John's parish will be blessed with him, as I'm certain beyond all doubt that St. Paul's in Norlina, NC will be blessed with Dean and Lauren.  Dean will be ordained at Holy Cross in Collinsville on July 15 and he'll be installed in the weekend after Labor Day in Norlina.  Anywho, we got back home late and enjoyed our favorite BBC drink and then tumbled to bed, completely wiped. 

This morning bright and early we started the yard sale.  Cindi and the girls (and Jo) have been working on this for the longest time.  I was skeptical, but it turned out to be a smashing success.  They ended up getting rid of every heavy piece of furniture or appliance we were trying to sell and tons of the littler stuff.  We loaded up the left overs into the van, ran them down to Good Will (and waited in a long line of folks doing the same thing!), and then returned the tables we'd borrowed from St. Paul's.  Home for a bite of dinner and then we went separate ways for Church.  Cindi served as cantor at St. Paul's, and yours truly attended Zion in Staunton, where Pr. Fritsche delivered yet another fine homily - masterfully weaving together the appointed pericopes for Exaudi.  His joy in the Lord is a beauteous thing to behind - his face beams with delight as he preaches.

Tomorrow promises to be another run, run day.  David and Meaghan hope to move much stuff over to the apartment in Highland where they will live following the wedding - which is, what, two weeks from today???  YIKES.  We'll be helping them and I sure hope also finding a wee bit of down time before Monday arrives.  I told Cindi I hope we don't have ANY plans for Memorial Day because three days of absolutely nothing sounds downright heavenly.

Still ahead:  wedding, family vacation, deaconess conference, missionary orientation, Dean's ordination in July, grandson's birth in August, helping Lauren, Dean and Baby move to NC, and Dean's installation in September.  Cindi and I were figuring that MAYBE by October things would actually settle down?  Maybe???  We can but hope.  And we try not to think about what it will be like to have Pr. Herberts and family so far away...

17 May 2012

An OP Rerun

Now He was going home... In seven words the years of labor and sorrow end: "While they beheld, He was taken up."... There were no bells and banners on earth, but surely all the trumpets on the other side sounded as they never sounded before... Surely the chiming golden bells of heaven sang their welcome, and angel choirs intoned the song of the throne: "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdomand strength."... On the anvils of God the nails had been forged into the scepter of a king... "He was taken up"... The angel hosts sweep to either side, leaving the way clear to the Eternal Light that no longer blinds the eyes of us who stand gazing after Him... He leads a procession which comes from the ends of time and space, all the harvest of all the white fields the world has ever known, the pilgrims of the night who come at last to the dawn of an everlasting day... "He was taken up." The Child of the manger, the praying heart on the starlit lanes of Galilee, the hunger in the wilderness, the weariness of the Sychar Well, the tears of the Garden and the Hill, the thirst of the Cross - all over now... The robes of the Transfiguration once momentary, now clothe Him forever, and angels and archangels sound the great doxology of the Waiting Church: "Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever."...

An old story - perhaps too old for us to do more than glimpse its glory... And yet - we ought to remember it more clearly... It was the solemn moment in the story of God and man when the visible Christ became the invisible Christ... From that hour everything concerning Him became visible only to the eyes of faith... The final line of demarcation in the world - between those who believe and those who refuse to believe - was now clear... Men can say that all this is not true and use the mind of man to reject the mind of God, or they can know that God once walked among them and that they now have a Friend in heaven who knows all that earth and time and pain can do to man...

The Ascension did not take Jesus away... It brought heaven near... In the realm in which He now reigns time and space have no meaning... There is no up and down, no near and far, no darkness, and no distance in the world of faith... He is as near as yesterday's prayer, today's joy, tomorrow's sorrow... His homecoming has made heaven a home for us who still walk far from home... Wherefore stand we gazing into heaven?... Our momentary task is here, but through the slow dimming of the years we see the evening lamps of home tended by the pierced hands of Him who has gone to prepare a place for us... Is there a better way to live - or die? ... All that we have to do now is believe and follow:

The lapping of the sea of death before his feet
Crept near; the wind was wild;
But he, who knew the One he came to meet,
Saw it and smiled.

Stepping without a hesitating word
Into the icy tide,
As if he saw the footprints of his Lord
Gleam at his side,

Borne up by Love that gave as he had given,
He crossed the midnight foam
And laid his hand upon the door of heaven
Like one returning home.

A Little Luther Joy on Ascension

Against this doctrine of faith and salvation, the devil, his apostles and henchmen, are fighting with all their might.  They distort this doctrine with there heretical marginal notes and maintain, Here is how you must understand this article:  He that believes and does good works shall be saved.  That's why it is doubly important to be fully equipped to analyze their deception and reply, I know very well that genuine faith is active in good works, and that if there are no good works, then true faith does not exist; but opening the gates of heaven and being saved are things that only faith can accomplish; works cannot do that.  I must first have the all-important gift of salvation.  But when, through faith in Christ, my sins have been forgiven and the gates of heaven opened to me, so that I am saved, then I, too, can say:  fiat justitia [become just], "You must live a godly life and do what is right." - preached in the afternoon of Ascension Day at the parish Church, 1533.  House Postil II:138.

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

The key to understanding any liturgical enactment in public worship is to ask what is meant to be accomplished by it there by those people in that location in that order of service.  So, for example, even though the Lord's Prayer always has the same meaning wherever it is used liturgically, it functions differently and so has different significance, if it is used at the end of the Prayer of the Church or in the rite of baptism, or in the communion liturgy before the Words of Institution.  -- Dr. John Kleinig, Singing Grace in our Hearts, Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord, p. 105.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

But what does it mean to sit at God's right hand?  We will not make a judgment on this on the basis of our own discretion.  Instead, we will get it out of Holy Scripture.  What the evangelist Mark states here about Christ ascending up to heaven and seating Himself at God's right hand, St. Paul explains in Ephesians 4:10 this way:  He who ascended is far above all heavens so that He fills all things. -- Blessed Johann Gerhard, Sermon for Ascension, Postilla I:421

Patristic Quote of the Day

The indescribable grace of Christ, which we lost through the ill will of the devil, prepared us more fully for that glory. Incorporated within Himself, the Son of God placed those whom the violent enemy threw down from the happiness of our first dwelling at the right hand of the Father. The Son of God lives and reigns with God the Father almighty and with the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen. -- Pope St. Leo the Great, Sermon 73 on the Ascension

16 May 2012

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

The natural rhythm of light and dark, of creation and re-creation in the liturgy of the hours continually reminds us of our re-creation in Christ in the waters of holy Baptism.  This pattern of nature provides the framework for our praise and prayer. -- Dr. Arthur Just, The Devotional Life of the Pastor, Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord, p. 100.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

The divine service should be well provided for before all else.  From a well-ordered church flows every blessing.  -- Blessed Valerius Herberger, The Great Works of God III/IV, p. 342.

Patristic Quote of the Day

The Father stands and awaits your return from your error.  Turn back to Him, and while you are still far off, He will run and fall on your neck.  With loving embraces He will enfold you, cleansed by repentance... He says, 'There is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents.'  If anyone of those who seem to stand by will bring a charge that you have been quickly received, the good Father Himself will answer for you.  He will say, 'It is fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead and is alive, he was lost and is found.' - St. Basil the Great, Letter 46.

Joys in Mid-South

A whirlwind trip, but what a blessing.  Sunday after lunch, I hit the road and traveled down to the Beethe's in Little Rock - they had graciously offered to let me spend the night there.  Visiting with the whole family was such a blessing - and the primal breakfast was an added treat that I hadn't expected.  Unfortunately on the trip down to Little Rock my iPhone died.  It had a baptism.  Don't ask.  Grr.

So, first thing Monday a.m. (AFTER the primal breakfast - with some absolutely super bacon and pancakes), off to the AT&T store to replace the phone.  Sigh.  Funny how panicky I get without that tether - as I was driving all those miles without any phone at all (and with only the iPad for a navigating devise to get me to the Beethe's - and that only worked at wi-fi joints), I kept reminding myself of what David wisely says:  "You never had a phone when you were driving around for years and you were fine."  Too true. 

Little Rock was really a surprise.  What a beautiful city!  After getting the phone up and running, though, I had to leave the city and head into even more beautiful country:  Lake DeGray State Park.  Led the brothers of that region of Midsouth through some joys in Colossians, joined them to celebrate a reverent and yet joy-packed Divine Service III, heard many outstanding devotions around the theme "At Table with Jesus" and thoroughly enjoyed the visiting.  A special treat was getting outside on Tuesday morning at 6 and running with Mark and Emil as the sun rose, the woodpeckers pecked away, and the day slowly stretched and woke up.  It was great.  Emil and I ran for six miles and chatted almost all the way - fascinating to learn a bit more of his story.

Tuesday a.m. after wrapping up Colossians, I sadly had to hit the road back home - I would have loved to sit at the feet of Dr. Alvin Schmidt again.  He's amazing.  But what a beautiful day for a drive!  I had the roof open all the way home, the windows down, the radio blaring oldies and the miles flying by.  The way down I'd been stuck on Highway 40 between Memphis and Little Rock for an hour due to an accident, but the way home was without incident.  It ended up being over 1000 miles round trip, but as I love driving (at least on open highways on Spring days when the sun is warm and shining!), all was good.  Got in about 5:30 and crashed for the evening.  Cindi revived my weary spirit with a fabulous dinner and an after-dinner BBC (which is our favorite tropical drink by far). 

Thanks to Mark and the brothers in Midsouth for the invite.  It was a blessing indeed to be with you all!

13 May 2012

Due to all kinds of scheduling conflicts...

...we couldn't get everyone together today to observe mother's day.  Sometime in the next few weeks maybe?  So Cindi and I had a quiet mother's day breakfast after church.  While she stayed to play bells at late service, I came home and whipped up the brunch.  How's this for some variety?

Green smoothies (apple, carrot, banana, spinach, blackberries, raspberries, kale, coconut milk, ice)
A pound of bacon (and we ate almost the whole thing just the two of us!)
A fresh sliced avocado, topped with salsa
Mushrooms fried in bacon grease
Fried eggs

It was rather tasty if I do say so myself.  A happy Mother's Day to the wonderful mother of my children - thank you, Cindi, for having been and continuing to be such a fabulous mom!

10 May 2012

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

The liturgy of the hours arose early in the Christian church as a way for Christians to rehearse and tell the story of the world, to praise God for his mighty, saving acts, and to petition the Father through the Son in its common prayer.  -- Arthur Just, The Devotional Life of the Pastor, Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord, p. 99.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Oh Lord Jesus, my heart also follows You constantly:  to church to hear Your Word; to the confession to receive Your consolation; to the Holy Supper to take the pledge of Your love; and in heaven to call on You. -- Blessed Valerius Herberger, The Great Works of God III/IV, p. 242.

Patristic Quote of the Day

The incarnation of the Word and His assumption of human nature took place for the overthrow of death... - St. Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on Luke 13.13

09 May 2012

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

This unfortunate turn of events was reversed by Luther who restored the liturgy of the hours back to its proper place as the prayer services of the whole church, laity and clergy alike.  He returned the reading of Scripture back to its original place as the major part of the liturgy from which flowed the psalms, hymns, and prayers of the daily office.  And the canticles of the liturgy of the hours were now made simpler so that the people could sing them. 

Luther used the daily office as the foundation for his devotional life and his prayers.  We would be in good company if our private devotional life as pastors found its place within the context of the church's common prayer.  To do this, all we need to do is return to using the daily offices as the foundation for our devotional life.  -- Dr. Arthur Just, The Devotional Life of the Pastor in Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord, p. 98.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

The faithful walk soberly with a quiet spirit, but the self-righteous walk loudly with the presumption of their works in God's laws.  -- Blessed Valerius Herberger, The Great Works of God III/IV, p. 238.

Patristic Quote of the Day

Let our light shine in good works and glow in such a way as to lead us from the night of this world to the daylight of eternal brightness.  -- St. Cyprian of Carthage, On the Unity of the Church, 25. 

07 May 2012


today was such a joy.  What a glorious Matins!  From Mark Bender on organ to Phil Magness on piano, from Mary Weber's amazing trumpet work to Cindi Weedon belting out Händel, from the Choir under direction of Jon Vieker to Phil Magness' psalm setting - wow, oh, wow.  Just awesome.  And President Harrison's preaching was a delight as usual - unpacking the three meanings of "confession" - of sin, of faith, of praise.  Good, good stuff.  Thanks to all the friends who joined in the celebration, to Annette for putting together the reception, to all the kind well-wishes from my fellow workers.  "Blessed be God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!  Oh, come, let us worship Him!"

P.S.  It was also mega sweet to have two of my godchildren present, and in general to hear in chapel the sound of little ones making their unique "joyful noise" unto the Lord - I've sorely missed the sound of children!

A brief interview

today with Pr. Jason Braaten of Gottesdienst Online here

06 May 2012

Since it is Cantate Sunday...

...and the focus is on the Church's song - Schütz's Singet Dem Herrn:

05 May 2012

Isn't it striking

that St. Paul didn't write:  It is required of stewards that they maintain good relationships with their congregations; but it is required of stewards that they be found faithful? 

What would happen if we turned from an obsession with managing relationships in the pastoral office and focused instead on just being faithful in delivering the Lord's gifts to His beloved Bride?  Crazy idea, I know. 

If our pastors are humble, remembering that they are but beggars living off the same divine mercy they invite their people to, they will seek to deliver the gifts with joy - even when they suffer for it.  Nor will they be surprised at the obstinacy and sin in their people - they'll have looked into their own hearts and recognized the evil that constantly springs up there.  And they'll know they're in a life and death battle with the spiritual powers to deliver the life that is true life, and that that battle is utterly worth the fight.

So that's my proposal:  lose the social science fixation with relationships and discover again the joy of faithfulness as we encourage each other more and more to be true to Christ and His Gospel no matter how much that might irritate people. 

04 May 2012

So it's Friday afternoon...

...after my first week of life at the Synod's International Center.  I have to confess:  I LOVED IT.  Don't get me wrong:  I'm still totally lost and over my head.  I figure that will take a while to sort out.  But what joys.  Conversations with Barb, with Chris, with Annette, with Tina, with Jon, with Bart, with Henry, with Rich, with Ben, with Albert, with Al, with Terry H and Terry D and the list goes on and on.  I left Rachel out because mostly it's not conversations at this point:  she's the instructor and I'm her very learning challenged pupil.  But she is a woman of remarkable patience and tact.

Getting a glimpse of the Synod's wide reach and work has also been an eye-opener.  I've encountered a number of items that I said:  Hmm, I didn't know we DID that and I wish I had known it when I was a parish pastor. 

What surprised me most?  All the laughter.  There was a great deal of joy in that place.  I don't think I expected that, but I should have.  Of course, I think that our National Missions must top the place in joy.  Let's just say I was delighted at our first ONM meeting - our jovial leader sets the tone.  But Bill C runs him a close second.

What frustrated me most?  How fast each day flew!  I'd look up and think:  "Goodness!  It can't be that late already!!!"  I've got a pile of things to attend to already on Monday morning, but they'll have to wait till AFTER the official Installation Service.

Anywho, the first week under the belt - and slowly, ever so slowly, starting to acclimate.  Now, for some cards and to beat Jo in liverpool - first things first, after all.

Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

Already in the third century, the hours of the day form the structure of prayer in the life of the believer.  What is most remarkable about Hippolytus is that the rhythm of prayer is associated with the passion of Jesus (the third, sixth, and ninth hours), the death and resurrection of Christ (prayer at sunrise and sundown), and the last things (prayer before bedtime that is eschatological).  This is a strenuous regimen of prayer that the faithful are encouraged to attend to as part of their daily devotion to the creator and redeemer of all things. -- Dr. Arthur Just, The Devotional Life of the Pastor, Teach Me Thy Way, O Lord, p. 98.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, that he might not forget his struggle and victory.  The place where Jacob had suffered his great adversity was called "God's Face."  Surely God is nowhere better seen and discerned than from beneath the blessed cross. -- Blessed Valerius Herberger, The Great Works of God III/IV, p. 236.

Patristic Quote of the Day

Let us knock at the very fair garden of the Scriptures, so fragrant and sweet and blooming, with its varied sounds of spiritual and divinely-inspired birds ringing all round our ears, laying hold of our hearts, comforting the mourner, pacifying the angry and filling him with joy everlasting.  Scripture sets our mind on the gold-gleaming, brilliant back of the divine dove (Psalm 68:13), whose bright pinions bear us up to the only-begotten Son and heir of the master of the house (Matt. 21:37) of that spiritual vineyard and bring us through Him to the Father of lights (James 1:17). -- St. John of Damascus, An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, 4.7

03 May 2012

One of the delightful things...

...about the morning commute into St. Louis is that at 7 a.m. each morning, KFUO (850 AM) returns to the airwaves, and I get to pray Matins with my dear friend, Pastor Randy Asburry.  This morning as he read the NT reading in Treasury (from Luke 10), I heard something I'd always missed before.  You see, one of the dangers of using a lectionary is that stories take on a life of their own and you forget that they nestle right next to OTHER stories.  So I certainly know very well the pericopes dealing with the Good Samaritan, and Jesus' visit to the home of Martha and Mary.  But I plum forgot that thy literally are next-door neighbors!

So, think of it:  the Good Samaritan story ends with Jesus wringing from the lawyer the very word that is at the heart of Torah:  mercy.  And he tells him:  "Go and do likewise."  Go, show mercy.  Go, have compassion.  Go, be of service and use to another.

And THEN, we see Martha being all good Samaritanish, serving and working in the kitchen, fixing a meal for our Lord and his followers.  And yet when she dares to criticize Mary and urge the Lord to tell her to get busy with the serving, Jesus stops her dead in her tracks.  The result of Martha's busyness was that she was fretting and worked up about lots of stuff.  Mary, on the other hand, has chosen the better part, the better portion, the chief goodie.  Jesus refuses to let anyone take it from her.

The life of action or the contemplative life?  Well, our Lord desires for us both.  But he's utterly clear which MUST have the priority.  His Word and the hearing of His Word and its preaching.  That's the best, and we must never allow anyone to deprive us of it with urging to be busy.  For we can ONLY "go and do likewise" when we have first sat at the Feet of the Good Samaritan and let Him through His Word spoken and sacramentally enacted bind up our wounds, anoint us, and heal us.

Anywho, kudos to KFUO for allowing us to kick off each day with the joys of hearing the Word together, singing God's praises together, and asking His blessing upon the new day He has seen fit to give us.  "O Lord, open my lips and my mouth will declare Your praise!"

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

The cross of Jesus reveals to us that the only life worth living is a life which is given through death - the death of Jesus.  There is no getting around the cross of CHrist; the Christian life is always a life under the cross. -- Pr. Harold Senkbeil, Sanctification:  Christ in Action, p. 135.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

When Jacob thought that God was farthest away, He was closer than He had ever been before in his life.  When Jacob imagined himself forsaken by God, he was lying in God's embrace. -- Blessed Valerius Herberger, The Great Works of God III/IV, p. 236. 

Patristic Quote of the Day

He was a perfect Victim offered for us, both in name and fact the garment of incorruption.  And He was a perfect Victim not only on account of His Godhead, than which nothing is more perfect; but also on account of that which He assumed, having been anointed with deity, and having become one with that which anointed Him, and I am bold to say, was made equal with God. -- St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Orations 45.13

02 May 2012

New Lutheran Quote of the Day

If we listen to our hearts alone, we will not hear God.  We will only be talking to ourselves. -- Harold Senkbeil, Sanctification:  Christ in Action, p. 131.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

The Lord Jesus braced Himself with the staff of His most holy cross.  He passed over the Jordan of our misery and won for Himself a twofold people which worships Him forever.  O Lord Jesus, You are the mighty Crushing Heel.  You kept Your bones unbroken on the cross because You wished with strong legs and heels to crush the skull of the devil.  Oh, what a heavy step You took!  The serpent pierced Your heel.  It cost You Your most holy blood, even life and limb.  Thus You crushed the foes of my salvation underfoot and claimed the victory.  -- Blessed Valerius Herberger, The Great Works of God III/IV, p. 227.

Patristic Quote of the Day

We deserved death, for we had fallen under the divine curse because of sin.  When the Savior of all undertook the responsibility, He transferred to Himself what was due to us and laid down His life, so that we might be sent away from death and destruction. -- St. Cyril of Alexandria, Homilies on Luke, 53.

01 May 2012

And dear friends...

...and please note that bashing bloggers for breaking the 8th commandment is itself a breaking of the 8th commandment.  Think about it.


Tonight my son-in-law received a call into my home district, the SED, to serve at Ridgeway/Norlina, St. Paul's (good name, that!).  Congratulations to Pastor-elect Dean Herberts, wife Lauren, and little Abednego!!!  And to the good folks of St. Paul's, you all have received a STELLAR pastor.  I can't wait for you to get to know him!  [Darian, is that your old parish?]