Saturday, January 30, 2010

Zizoulas (Orthodox representative of the Catholic/Orthodox dialogue) concludes by saying: "History is guided by God. Those who proclaim that the Church's unity is impossible, are trying to take the place of God. Who are we to predetermine the future? We are called to tirelessly work so we all may be one. If we do not enact this, or we do so at the expense of the faith of our fathers, then we will be called to answer to God. The final outcome is in His hands. He will find a way to see His will is done, so we may all be one. We simply have to work for unity".

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lord, have mercy (1/22/73)

Psalm 51st
Have mercy upon me, O God, *
after thy great goodness;
According to the multitude of thy mercies *
do away mine offences.
Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness, *
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my faults, *
and my sin is ever before me.
Against thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight; *
that thou mightest be justified in thy saying, and clear when thou art judged.
Behold, I was shapen in wickedness, *
and in sin hath my mother conceived me.
But lo, thou requirest truth in the inward parts, *
and shalt make me to understand wisdom secretly.
Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; *
thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Thou shalt make me hear of joy and gladness, *
that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
Turn thy face from my sins, *
and put out all my misdeeds.
Make me a clean heart, O God, *
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence, *
and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.
O give me the comfort of thy help again, *
and stablish me with thy free Spirit.
Then shall I teach thy ways unto the wicked, *
and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou that art the God of my health; *
and my tongue shall sing of thy righteousness.
Thou shalt open my lips, O Lord, *
and my mouth shall show thy praise.
For thou desirest no sacrifice, else would I give it thee; *
but thou delightest not in burnt-offerings.
The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit: *
a broken and contrite heart, O God, shalt thou not despise.
O be favourable and gracious unto Sion; *
build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifice of righteousness, with the burnt-offerings and oblations;*
then shall they offer young bullocks upon thine altar.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son *
and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, *
world without end. Amen.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

inflamed by divine fire

Hence if you wish to be super-enlightened and taught, read this Book of Life. If you do not simply skim through it but rather let it penetrate you while reading it, you will be taught everything needed for yourself and for others, no matter what your state of life. Also, if you read it carefully and not casually, you will be so inflamed by divine fire that you will accept every tribulation as the greatest consolation. -- Angela of Foligno (+ 1309)

Monday, January 18, 2010

pray for the body of Christ

: The Coptic Christian Community of Nashville will hold a rally on Tuesday, January 19, 2010, in front of Rep. Jim Cooper's office 605 Church Street from 111 AM to 2PM to protest the killing of seven Coptic Orthodox Christians in Nag Hammadi, Egypt on January 7, 2010. Muslim gunmen opened fire with machine guns on worshipers as they were coming out of church after celebrating Christmas liturgy. Besides the seven Copts that were killed, 25 others were wounded and the next day, numerous homes and businesses were set ablaze, leaving many homeless and without a livelihood.

welcome all life

+ Second Sunday after Epiphany +
17 January 2010
Isaiah 62:4-5 Sanctity of Human Life Sunday
Thousands of congregations across America, especially in our own LCMS have been encouraged and have decided to celebrate Sanctity of Human Life Sunday on a Sunday close to the infamous Supreme Court decision of January 22, 1973 known as Roe v. Wade. I am convinced it is not a matter if but WHEN this decision will be overturned, just as in the 19th century we saw the error of not recognizing the full humanity of all human beings regardless of ethnicity. Someday, it will be apparent to everyone that Roe v. Wade was equally a miscarriage of justice as was the Dred Scott decision of March 6, 1857. How do we get to that day? How do we not lose hope? How do we not become weary in well-doing? We do it mainly by reminding each other that with God nothing shall be impossible. Surely inspired by that fact, Francis Cardinal George of Chicago wrote a book last year entitled, “The Difference God Makes”. Listen to parts of a review by Helen Alvaré of the Culture of Life Foundation.
“Currently, lawmakers and other opinion leaders are twisting our love affairs with freedom, equality and diversity to serve short-term goals which ultimately weaken the family. First and foremost, our love of freedom has been transmuted into a demand for legalizing any sort of sexual intimacy one might choose. It has also been used to support a “right” to choose whether to value or to destroy nascent human life. Our respect for diversity has been misconceived as the necessity of tolerating choices about family life which are harmful both for the adults and the children involved. Our insistence upon equality has been misused to deny the obvious differences between same-sex and opposite-sex pairs.
How does he suggest we correct these abuses and promote a culture of life? First, we must reestablish the link between truth and freedom. This is a huge task on its face. In the family context, we are aided today by the enormous amount of empirical research which measures outcomes of various family choices. It is opening eyes for the first time in half a century to the fact that neither men nor women are experiencing authentic freedom when they choose to ignore the truth about intimate human relationships, e.g. these relationships’ orientation to permanence, to exclusivity and to procreation. Children suffer terribly when adults deny foundational truths about love, marriage and parenting.
Second, we must also reestablish the connection between freedom and communion. A great deal of legal and sociological scholarship published in the U.S. today suggests that the human person is naturally a “chooser.” It suggests that sometimes – and for relatively brief periods – adults choose to be in a partnership. Sometimes they choose to have one or two children, a task which takes only a fraction of their adult life. Often, they will choose not to marry, or they will choose divorce or abortion – the severing of relationships. In short, the adult human is above all else, an isolated individual who chooses, and whose choices are directed primarily toward self-gratification. Catholic teaching and sound philosophy as well as common sense beg to disagree. Beginning with God’s utterance in the garden that “It is not good for the man to be alone,” and proceeding through the rest of the scriptures, our texts state that the human person, like God, is meant for communion” Thus far Cardinal George.
When we see the Triune God as the author and sustainer of all life, we will be able to influence our culture by word and action to welcome, value and care for every life.

In our text today Isaiah said it well: Your name will no longer be "Deserted and Childless," but "Happily Married." You will please the LORD; your country will be his bride. Your people will take the land, just as a young man takes a bride. The LORD will be pleased because of you, just as a husband is pleased with his bride.

1. God shows us how to welcome every life
a. God welcomes one and all in the ministry of Jesus
b. Ministry of the body of Christ – homeless, unborn, elderly, Haiti
2. How to care for every life
a. God cares by sending the Comforter in water, bread and wine
b. The Body of Christ speaks the truth in love – vision statement
3. How to value every life
a. Not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood, his innocent suffering and death
b. Grandma’s quilt: How much is it worth? How much money would you take for it? Doesn’t its value come from the one who made it with love?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Isaiah's Epiphany

Wherever we go we are with Him and He is with us. In His Word he promises us:
Don’'t be afraid, I've redeemed you. I've called your name. You're mine. When
you're in over your head, I'll be there with you. When you're in rough waters, you
will not go down. When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a
dead end—Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
That’s how much you mean to Me and that’s how much I love you.”
(Paraphrased from Isaiah 43 The Message Bible)

Baptism of our Lord

+ The Baptism of our Lord +
10 January 2010
Luke 3:21-22 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
In our own Baptism, the manifestation of each person of the life-giving Trinity begins and continues our relationship with the one true God in his body the Church.
1. The manifestation of Jesus our brother
a. As Jesus prays for us, the heavens are opened
b. Baptism reveals the importance and power of prayer in our lives; prayer walks continue
2. The manifestation of the Holy Spirit, the anointing of love
a. A visible sign of what was already and always true
b. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works etc.
3. The manifestation of the Father; affirmation and acceptance
a. Public ministry requires public affirmation – Father wants everyone to know His Son
b. We are affirmed and accepted when the Gospel is rightly proclaimed and the Sacraments rightly administered; and we offer that freely the waiting world.

the best deal

On a Fox News panel discussing Tiger Woods, Brit Hume said, perfectly accurately:

"The extent to which he can recover, it seems to me, depends on his faith. He is said to be a Buddhist. I don't think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So, my message to Tiger would be, 'Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world."

Friday, January 8, 2010

reading the scriptures

“…we confess that we are greatly confirmed by the testimonies of the ancient church the true and sound understanding of the Scripture. Nor do we approve of it if someone invents for himself a meaning which conflicts with all antiquity, and for which there are clearly no testimonies of the church” (Ibid., p. 208-9); and, “There is therefore a great difference between (1) the witness of the primitive church which was at the time of the apostles and (2) the witness of the church which followed immediately after the time of the apostles and which had received the witness of the first church and (3) the witness of the present [Roman Catholic] church concerning Scripture. For if the church both that which is now and that which was before, can show the witness of those who received and knew the witness of the first church concerning the genuine writings, we believe her as we do one who proves his statements. But she has no power to establish or to decide anything concerning the sacred writings for which she cannot produce reliable documents from the testimony of the primitive church (Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent Ibid., p. 177).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

eagle forum

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

By Reverend William J. H. Boetcke

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

more good news

A Little Book on Joy: The Secret of Living a Good News Life in a Bad News World. By Matthew C. Harrison. Fort Wayne, Indiana: Lutheran Legacy Press, 2009. Individual copies: $9.95; bulk (5 or more copies): $5.99.

order from

Sunday, January 3, 2010

the Holy Family

Reflecting on what it might mean for us that Jesus was submissive to His parents (Luke 2) and then grew in favor with God and man, I came up with the following: we would be obedient to God’s holy family the Church by reverencing
— the Church’s book (Holy Bible)
–the Church’s songs (Hymnal)
— The Church’s prayer (Liturgy)
— The Church’s ministry (Bishop, Pastor, Deacon — Word and Sacraments included here)
— The Church’s Teaching/Confession (Book of Concord)
— The Church’s Battle (against sin and unbelief, speaking truth in love, etc.).
This more than anything I’ve heard or read about would result in a lively, vital unified in teaching and practice Church; something to be reckoned with; something the devil the world and our flesh would fear.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Yahweh (he who exists) will kneel before you presenting gifts and will guard you with a hedge of protection, Yahweh (he who exists) will illuminate the wholeness of his being toward you bringing order and he will provide you with love, sustenance and friendship, Yahweh (he who exists) will lift up his wholeness of being and look upon you and he will set in place all you need to be whole and complete.