Friday, October 23, 2009
Well, yesterday I turned in my first real paper for grad school. (I say real because I've turned in a number of short reflection papers.) It is a great relief. I think I did a good job on it and my presentation of it went well in class. We'll see when I get it back if what I think is a good job and what the professor thinks is a good job are the same thing! I did enjoy doing it, and am enjoying being back in the academic environment. Now it's on to my next paper, which is longer still . . .
Great words today from Dietrich Bonhoeffer is the Treasury of Daily Prayer (p. 840-1) in speaking of Christ as the one who builds His church:
"It is not we who build. [Christ] builds the church. No man builds the church but Christ alone. Whoever is minded to build the church is surely well on the way to destroying it; for he will build a temple to idols without wishing or knowing it. We must confess - he builds. We must proclaim - He builds. We must pray to him - that he may build.
We do not know his plan. We cannot see whether he is building or pulling down. It may be that the times which by human standards are times of collapse are for him the great times of construction. It may be that the times which from a human point of view are great times for the church are times when it is pulled down.
It is a great comfort which Christ gives to his church: you confess, preach, bear witness to me and I alone will build where it pleases me. Do not meddle in what is my province. Do what is given you to do well and you have done enough. But do it well. Pay no heed to views and opinions. Don't ask for judgments. Don't always be calculating what will happen. Don't always be on the lookout for another refuge! Church, stay a church! But church, confess, confess, confess! Christ alone is your Lord; from his grace alone can you live as you are. Christ builds."
Saturday, October 10, 2009
The following was overheard from an LCMS pastor recently: "A quia subscription to the Book of Concord? I let that subscription run out a long time ago."
If I were to put the best construction on that statement, it would be that it was said in jest. But not only do I seriously doubt it, I am saddened that one would think to make such a jest. The teaching and doctrine that we have in our church is a treasure and something to cling to, not "let run out." We should be encouraging our folks to read and study the Concordia, not make it the butt of jokes. We should be giving it out like candy instead of eating the latest pop-evangelical junk food and suffering from theological tooth decay. Are our confessions meaty? Yes, so let's chew on them and be fed!
And I'll put my money where my mouth is and make this offer to whoever may stumble across this post - if you need a copy of the Concordia, let me know and I'll send you one . . . if you promise to read it.