Here’s the next installment of this series over at the church’s website.
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Where else can one find the perfect harmony of St. Patrick’s day, obscure theological heresies, and a gratifying reference to Voltron?
This is a good passage to remind us of God’s upside-down kingdom on this day when the President who is inaugurated has an “…obsession with outward appearance, sexiness, superficiality, wealth, [and] his own status and accomplishments.” Our newly minted President, by virtue of his office, will deserve our prayers, our obedience as far as conscience and God’s Word will allow, but not our imitation.
“You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – the Gospel according to Mark, chapter 10
Kyrie, eleison. Lord, have mercy.
On this Thanksgiving day, there is someone for whom my thanks could not possibly be fully stated: Mother Church. She can be faithless to her Husband at times and temperamental towards her children, but it is into her arms that I was born. I know not the exact moment of salvation, but it is her nourishment and her children who have fed me, disciplined me, held me accountable, encouraged me, tested me, and lifted up my guilt-ridden countenance and gently reminded me of what her Husband secured on my behalf. She is sometimes blind to her faults yet always on the verge of reformation. She often seems so fragile and in danger of perishing, yet she has held forth for centuries against violent persecutions from without and hideous heresies and damnable schisms within. In one breath she can chase away the stranger and the alien with idolatrous nationalism while in the very next breath offer a home and a family to an orphan and an outcast. She is both confusing and endearing, maddening and lovely. It is an honor to serve her, and I’m grateful for the Word she serves me, the prayers she offers, and the saints to whom she joins me.
That man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins — all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.
— Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian
Ahhhh… You smell that? That’s the stink of a materialistic view of the universe taken to its most reasonable conclusions. Sometimes its helpful to get a good snoot-full as a refresher, a reminder of the stench of the cultural folderol where humanity is the measure of all things.
“I am more afraid of my own heart than of the pope and all his cardinals. I have within me the great pope, Self.” — Martin Luther
Stupid Germans. Are they all great engineers, knowing and discerning how all things work?
“Biblical hope, rooted in incarnation and resurrection, is creational, this-worldly, visible, physical, bodily hope.” — Herman Bavinck, “The Last Things”