Sign-up to Help at VIVA VIENNA


It's that time again! We will again have a booth for our church at the Viva Vienna festival on May 24th and 25th. We need folks to help man our booth. CLICK HERE to go see what time slots are available and who has signed up already. It's a lot of fun and you won't be alone - we'll make sure a "seasoned veteran" is there every shift. Thanks for your help!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Another Good Quote

Dr. Gifford Grobien has a good article in the latest Concordia Theological Quarterly entitled "The Christian Voice in the Civil Realm." Worth a read. He talks about a people formed by the church or formed by the state. Here is a good quote to whet your appetite:
The end or purpose of the church militant is to be a people in this world gathered around Word and Sacrament, forgiven of sin, reconciled to God, and sanctified for good works.  . . .  When the church recalls that she is to confess and act faithfully, and not ultimately to bring political change, she will be ready not only for marginalization but for martyrdom. 
Martyrdom signals the impotence, not of the church, but of the state. Whatever it may threaten, in the end, the state can only kill the body. Yet, it cannot even take away the body. The martyred Christian still has his body for the resurrection; he still has life in Christ. Martyrdom reveals the people of the church to be formed differently from the state, in direct opposition to the claim that only the state can form people. Martyrs reveal the empty violence of the state and the people of the eternal kingdom.
~ CTQ 78:3-4, p. 129 (emphases mine)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Saturday, May 9, 2015

For Mother's Day

Mother's Day is greatly emphasized in our world today, but it is not a day of joy for everyone. I have become more and more aware that importing civil holidays into the church can cause great pain to some. Mother's Day and motherhood is a complex thing. Consider the following:

+To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you.

+To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you.

+To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you.

+To those who experienced loss this year through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you.

+To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.

+To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you.

+To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you.

+To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we both lament and hope with you.

+To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you.

+To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we pray with you for healing.

+To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst.

+To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you.

+And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you.

This Mother’s Day, we walk with all of you. Together rejoicing in the joys of this life, sorrowing in the trials, trusting in the mercy of Christ, and hoping in the resurrection to come upon His return.

(Note: I did not write this, but do not remember where I got it from. Please forgive the lack of attribution.)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Easter Hymns

I came across a bulletin for the Third Sunday of Easter recently (April 19) and in this particular church, they did not sing any Easter hymns on this Sunday! Really? We sing Easter hymns all through the Easter season - all seven Sundays. That's why Easter lasts a full 50 days - to celebrate it! And there are so many good Easter hymns; too many not to keep singing and rejoicing in the resurrection.

So my question to any of my brothers out there who may stumble upon this blog: Do you sing Easter hymns all through the Easter season? And if not, why not?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Some Good Luther

More from Luther in his "Great Galatians:"
"But the Law is good, righteous, and holy." Very well! But when we are involved in a discussion of justification, there is no room for speaking about the Law.  . . .  This Bridegroom, Christ, must be alone with His bride in His private chamber, and all the family and household must be shunted away. But later on, when the Bridegroom opens the door and comes out, then let the servants return to take care of them and serve them food and drink. Then let works and love begin.
~ Luther's Works, Vol. 26, p 137-38.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Who Is Really Doing the Accepting and Receiving?

As I was reading Luther on Galatians this afternoon, a thought occurred to me:

You will often hear folks saying "You have to accept Christ" or "You have to receive Christ." Yet with those phrases, it always seemed to me that the emphasis is on us and what we are doing. And the words "have to" always make me uncomfortable when talking about Christ because they are law words.

So maybe this is a better way to say it: Christ died for your sins. He became man to take your sins upon Himself on the cross that you be forgiven your sins. He said He would do it and He did it. When you believe that, take hold of that (faith), then the Father accepts you, forgives you, and receives you as His child for the sake of Christ. This emphasizes the work of God and Christ for us and seems a better direction that the first.

What do you think?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Busy Day

Well, today was the Walk-Run-Ride for Life. Team Athanasius raised $2,615 for the pregnancy center, good for 6th place among the teams. Thanks to all who helped and sponsored us. No pictures of the riders this year, though.

After that, however, was the Stop Hunger Now food packing event. We joined with a bunch of other churches in Vienna to package 250,000 meals for people around the world in need. This year, our food is going to Liberia and people effected by the Ebola outbreak there. Here are a couple of pictures:

Looking good in the mandatory hair nets!

Mrs. Peasant (black shirt center), daughter Peasant (white shirt next to her),
and two other Athanasians work on weighing and sealing the food bags.

My job this year was to help restock those who were filling the food bags. That meant I got to carry around and pour 50 lb. bags of rice and soy for my shift! But it was a good time. There were other Athanasians who participated also, but during different shift times.

Now I am tired and ready to relax. A nice cold beer when I got home hit the spot. Now a little more prep for tomorrow and then off to bed.