Monday, March 30, 2009

parallel universe

In yesterday's Gospel we heard about James and John asserting to Jesus, "we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." This statement proves that the disciples are still in a parallel universe, not in Jesus' universe where its all about serving and giving His life as a ransom for many. Serving and giving or getting whatever we want? If we could only get away from what we want to what God wants, we would be a whole lot farther ahead than we are at present. Focusing on what we want only stirs up trouble, strife and contention among the Twelve. Jesus says: it shall not be so among you. The journey of Lent can take us out of our universe of Getting into Jesus' universe of Giving and Serving if we will pray, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

messages of lent

Great hymns for Lent can be found in the "Redeemer" section of Lutheran Service Book, including this new text by Timothy Dudley-Smith, "Praise Be to Christ."

Praise be to Him who, Lord Most High,
The fulness of the God-head shares;
And yet our human nature bears,
Who came as man to bleed and die.
And from His cross there flows our peace
Who chose for us the path He trod,
That so might sins and sorrows cease
And all be reconciled to God.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

in communion with St. Patrick and St. Joseph

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
Be all else but naught to me, save that Thou art;
Be Thou my best thought in the day and the night,
Both waking and sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my wisdom, be Thou my true Word,
Be Thou ever with me, and I with Thee Lord;
Be Thou my great Father, and I Thy true son;
Be Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight;
Be Thou my whole armor, be Thou my true might;
Be Thou my soul's shelter, be Thou my strong tower:
O raise Thou me heavenward, great Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise:
Be Thou mine inheritance now and always;
Be Thou and Thou only the first in my heart;
O Sovereign of Heaven, my treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, Thou Heaven's bright sun,
O grant me its joys after victory is won;
Great Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be Thou my vision, O Ruler of all.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

lest you forget...

Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 9. And now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you. You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you.
Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children.
The whole business of adding and subtracting from the Word of God, as happens daily in the sects/cults that claim the name of Christ, should really frighten and alarm us, when we consider that our God who says DON'T DO THAT! is a consuming fire. We are all susceptible to forgetfulness and our hearts tend to become "leaky" vessels. The remedy? Teach your children:) Don't have any left at home? Try grandchildren. Don't have any of them either? Remember that in 2009, 38% of births will be to single mothers (up from 5% or less in 1960!). Ask God how you can impact their lives with the Good News of Jesus!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

just a suggestion

Memo from Jesus Christ
To President Obama and Members of Congress:
Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets (Matthew 7:12).
Just imagine what a return to simple ethics (Thou shalt not steal) would do if embraced by our nation's leaders. Instead of foxes guarding the hen house, we might actually see humility and wisdom, and the fear of the LORD. Dreaming, dreaming...

Monday, March 2, 2009

whither the wicked?

The nations have sunk down in the pit which they made; in the net which they hid, their own foot is caught. The LORD is known by the judgment He executes; the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands (Psalm 9:15-16).
Why do the wicked renounce God? He has said in his heart, 'You will not require an account' (Psalm 10:13).
What greater deception than to think that we are off the hook, that we may live as we please, make up our own truth, our own rules -- that there is no one to whom we must someday give account. The Psalms clearly expose the futility of such thinking and the destiny of those who are thus deceived. How ironic that mankind rejects the very thing he longs for most deeply: to be loved, to find significance in life -- and then proceeds to look for it in all the wrong places.