Saturday, February 27, 2010
Thursday, February 25, 2010
He is true God, the creator of wind and sea, who does care that we perish (Mark 4:38) and does far more than the terrified disciples ask or imagine in their prayer. (In light of this passage, try and argue that answers to prayer depend upon you having a strong faith!)
But He is also true man, who is transported by a boat and sleeps; who is the promised offspring of Abraham (Genesis 12, Galatians 3:16) here to bless all the families of the earth.
Yet the blessing of His kingdom is endangered by Abram's plans to save his own neck with the infamous "She's my sister, Pharoah" event. For God is determined not to give the offspring to the families of the earth apart from the family of Abraham AND Sarah (though He has not explicitly said that yet.) So that the promised salvation does not die - and us die with it - God reunites Sarah to Abraham. Certainly we are saved by grace, and not only not by our works, but like Abram, DESPITE our works.
Our Father who art in Heaven, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done. Amen.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Well, that is just exactly what happens, isn't it? After the devil arranges to destroy Jesus to death, he finds in the end that he has brought about the end of both himself and death. Christ dangled on the cross like a worm on a fishhook, and the devil and death took the bait.
"But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house" (Mark 3:27).
Reminded me of this quote by CFW Walther (HT: David Juhl):
This battle [of the Temptations between Jesus and Satan in the wilderness] was the first engagement touched off by the Lord of our salvation, in order to tread down Satan under our feet. It was the first defeat of the infernal host to show them that now a Stronger one had come. Scarcely had Christ begun His ministry when immediately He attacked Satan. He did not leave the field until He had won the last engagement for us on the cross and could cry out, “It is finished!” (emphasis added)
Monday, February 22, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
So that man does not live by bread alone (after he tried finding life apart from the word that comes from the mouth of God - Lenten Antiphon 1), the Lord God exiles man from the garden.
Though man brought sin into the world, and death through sin, the LORD places man into safety (Psalm 12:5) in the Mark 2: 1-12 reading - first dealing with sin through forgiveness, then dealing with death through making the lame man to walk. Was the paralytic disappointed when Jesus "only" forgave him? I used to think so, but I'm not so sure anymore. He could have had friends like Job's telling him he was suffering terribly because he sinned terribly - or his parents did (see John 9). And even if his "friends" didn't, his mind could have been accusing him of past sins - or it could have been cursing God for treating him this way. At any rate, I now think the man was actually greatly relieved when the Lord told him to rejoice that his sins were forgiven.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
* = quite the comfort to men who fail as pastors, let alone Christians! Ironically, I was talking with Rev. Doug Nicely today at the hospital about this very fact, that if God hadn't been with the Church, foolish human mismanagement would have put it out of business a LONG time ago!
As for the Scripture readings, Mark 1 tells us that Jesus silences the demons after we have let the Devil have his say in our life for far too long. On the first Sabbath (Genesis 2), God could rest. On that Sabbath in Capernaum, He had work to do to free us from the devil's work. Reminds me of this post by Rev. David Peteren some years back, which helps me think of last night's Divine Service in a new light, granting me rest before an extremely busy day today of serving the Lord and His people (three hospitals-five visits, plus a shut in communion):
During the course of his lectures Kleinig made some profound, off-hand
remarks about the 3rd commandment and the prohibition of labor on the Sabbath. I
am surprised it never occurred to me before, but Kleinig talked about how
strange and magnificent it is that God commands His people to worship Him by
doing nothing. What are we to do? Nothing. God does it all. How do we worship
Him? By doing nothing, by reception of His gifts. The Divine Service is not
where we appease God's wrath or primarily where we serve Him, but where He
serves us. How did I go so long teaching the Catechism and not see this?
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Yet by God's grace, the wilderness is not as bad a place as it could be. In fact, He makes it to be a place of blessing - the place where God trains Moses, and Israel, and Elijah, and John the Baptist and his listeners to have no other gods, to learn to live again by every Word that comes from His mouth. We are in the wilderness, but Mark says Jesus is in the wilderness with us to save us.
He also gave this link to another TDP blog - Alex Kirk means Nurture the Church
(and remember to flip back to the start of the book for Lenten readings - unless your continuing with Job)
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
- Who, though our King, was bound with a wastcloth as You washed Your disciples' feet;
- Who, though our Priest, was stripped as You made sacrifice for us;
- Who, though God's greatest Prophet, was deprived of speech in death, when contempt and mockery was poured upon You at the Cross (cf. Job 12:18-21),
Monday, February 15, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
So what to do about Job?
- Abandon him in his suffering.
- Read the Job text as the Old Testament reading one year, and the Genesis reading the next year.
- Add the Job text assigned for the secular date to the readings assigned for the day in Lent.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
The first response of Jesus to Nicodemus catches one off guard. It's not what was expected. Nicodemus greets with pleasantries, but it's almost like Jesus says, "Enough with the flattery - are you going to treat me like I am a teacher from God." Will we? We call Jesus Lord, Savior, Christ annointed to preach good news to us poor ones, the Word of God made flesh. At least that is what our words call Him - but our bodies and minds do not do so good of a job confessing/same saying the truth of those words. Lips may draw near, but hearts and minds wander far from Him.
Nicodemus has come to the Light in physical sense, yet comes at night, loving the darkness at this point rather than the Light because he does not want his work to be exposed to his fellow teachers of Israel. Not yet. But after the darkness covered the earth for three hours one Friday, he very publicly goes to care for the body of the Light, and it is clearly seen that his works were carried out in God for God.
But I get ahead of myself there, for first, while the teacher of Israel is still failing to understand, slow to believe, hiding in and loving the darkness, etc, he is taught the tremendous love of God in giving up not a creature (what kind of love is that? as Hilary points out in the Writing (WOW! - make sure to read this if you haven't), but His Only-begotten Son.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
oh, and I thank the Lord that He has given me such Biblically literate members who would know that sacrificing a turtle would not be kosher!
UPDATE - my dictionary, in the second definition of "turtle", says it is an archaic way of saying "turtledove" (which is what Pr. Weedon said.) Glad to know that Cyril didn't get it wrong.