Tuesday, October 28, 2008
In the liturgy for Private Absolution, the line that always gets me is this one: "I have lived as if God did not matter and as if I mattered most." I almost don't need to say anything else. This seems to sum it all up. All the rest of the confessional liturgy and my own confession of sins is simply an elaboration on this one statement - although it is good that I examine myself and confess my sins specifically. But there, in that one line, is a summary of both tables of the Law and the heart of the matter: I do not fear, love, and trust in God above all things, and my wrong fear, wrong love, and wrong trust cause me to be and do what I should not.
As much as I hate to acknowledge that, how good it is to do so, and to receive the unlimited grace and forgiveness of my Saviour. And I look up at the cross and see how that statement is true not only of me, but also of my crucified Lord - who lived as if being God did not matter (Philippians 2:6) and was hanging there for me, because I mattered most to Him. And so in Him, everything is changed. In Him, I am restored and forgiven. In Him, I rise off my knees in the resurrection of forgiveness from the death of my sins, to live a new life. How great is that?
Monday, October 27, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I find it somewhat ironic that for the Festival of the Reformation, there is no reading assigned from the Old Testament - this is replaced by a reading from Revelation 14. That is fine, but what would Luther, good Old Testament scholar that he was, say about that?
Things that make you go hmmmmm . . .
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I haven't blogged in a bit - my brain has been void of thoughts and I've been busy and tired with all sorts of things, including learning Latin. But I had to put a word in this morning for my Phillies! R.I.P. Dodgers, Torre, and Manny. And if our pitching holds up, I like our chances in the Series.
Friday, October 3, 2008
I went to the dentist today. We always talk a lot, and he was telling me about a seminar he went to where they were told of a looming dentist shortage - too many dentists retiring or leaving because of injury (lots of repetitive stress injuries), and not enough new dentists to fill the void.
Hmmm. This sounds to me exactly like what we are being told about pastors. Many are retiring or leaving because of abuse or burnout. An interesting commonality that deserves more thought.
My dentist went on to say that what is beginning to happen is that those who are not fully trained as dentists are beginning to do some of the work - like "cleaning clinics" and "denturists" to simply clean our teeth and make dentures. But, he said, while these may do fine at cleaning and making dentures, these folks are not trained to see and treat many other problems that a dentist is, like mouth cancer. There is a great danger looming here, he said.
Hmmm. This sounds to me exactly like what we are beginning to do with pastors. Those who are less than fully trained are beginning to do some of the work - but what is the great danger looming here for the church? Are the classes and training these folks are missing not really important (why do fully trained pastors have to take them then?), or could a "cancer of false doctrine" begin growing in the spiritual lives of people and churches that these good-intentioned-but-not-fully-trained folks are not trained to understand?
So, my dentist then said, the government is probably going to try to encourage and help folks to become dentists, probably by tax breaks or credits.
Hmmm. Here's where the similarity ends, for what is the LCMS doing? The funding for our seminaries and student aid is not being increased (the seminaries have received very little to no funds from the synod for a while now) to help folks become pastors. Instead they are touting and encouraging the "lesser training route." My dentist can see the great danger looming. Do we?
You may have seen ultrasound pictures of babies in the womb. They usually look grainy and shadowy and hard to see. A few years ago, 4D ultrasound technology came out, which shows the baby much more clearly. Now, GE has posted these pictures on the web so that you can see the development of a baby from 6 weeks on. There is also information there about what develops when. There is a lot of evidence that education of women considering abortion prevents many abortions. Perhaps this can be a good tool for us to use in the fight for life - to show that yes, this little life in you is a real baby.
HT: World Magazine