quod pro nobis traditum est

Monday, September 29, 2014

services of angels and men

The collect reflects a two-fold direction of the angels. They stand before the Lord's face to do him service in heaven and they defend our life on earth. So we pray . . .

"And another angel came, and stood before the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense, that he should offer of the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar, which is before the throne of God. And the smoke of the incense of the prayers of the saints ascended up before God from the hand of the angel."

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

man and his clever ideas

Within the regional church political and financial pressures can be applied and pastors and their families can be put at risk, but this does not hide the fact that liturgical renewal is always needed, now more than ever. Liturgical renewal means passing on that which is given to us. Nothing to fear!

Since we are saved by God's grace through faith in Christ, we hold on to the sacraments, altars, liturgy, vestments, etc. What may appear as traditions of men to some are simply means through which we are gathered together in Christ and nourished in His Word and Sacraments.

We are conditioned by society to consider that that which is handed over to the Apostles and to us are man's traditions. We blind ourselves to put trust in "innovations" that do not seek to uphold the things of God but which say instead "Hey, look at us!" Are not these attacks on the church and the liturgy and this turning of worship into something pleasing to us, really the ideas and traditions of men? Liturgical renewal is needed now more than ever.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

God's mercy amidst darkness

What can one do about confessing Christians who spurn the gifts of God?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Will and Grace

This is a topic with much history going before even the time of Christ. Let me summarize my position as this. I do not doubt God's free will to save people/sinners nor do I doubt the grace people/sinners receive in the sacraments.

Friday, June 06, 2014

on purity

Not purity, which is the saving work of Christ in Word and Sacraments, God's free grace in Christ for sinners. Not purity which is the work of the Holy Spirit, through the same means, in His sanctifying work among sinners, to make a holy Bride, the Church.

The purity of God can be misplaced or absorbed into the cultural and political views of His people, on both the right and the left. Altar, font and pulpit are diminished in favor of public activity and, ironically, it somehow then seems unethical for the church to be involved in ministry.

Although there have been hints in "false divides" (as opposed to keeping the whole) suggested in theological discussions online in recent years, I confess that I am blindsided by this new purity. Something is indeed doing its work, narrowing down the chosen to but a few, dividing congregations and even Christian families, destroying pastors and scattering the sheep. Where is this "purity" coming from? This legalism apart from forgiveness, life and salvation? This departure from the Body and Blood of Christ?

In the liturgy we pray regularly for the whole church on earth and for the enemies of the church. Come Holy Spirit!

Monday, May 19, 2014

idle thought

How can one tear down the idols? When class warfare is the fad, find contentment instead. When material success is the option of popularity, instead look beyond.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

liberally offensive

One explanation for bringing offense to people may be that the society is polarized and so everything becomes politicized thus making all views offensive in one way or another . . .

In my own particular church context, I find that one may theoretically offend everyone with liberal views. Let me explain with two examples:

First, I liberally hold to the belief that the Sacrament on the altar, or Eucharist, is the Body and Blood of Christ. The catechism of my church says the same thing in so many words. While this is the traditional view of the Eucharist, many Christians who call themselves "conservative" reject this view. Hence I call this a "liberal view."

Second, I liberally hold to the view that the Church has the freedom and right to hold to and teach distinct views on matters such as pro-life, marriage between a man and a woman, etc. When and where secularism, or culturally based Christianity, seek to impose other beliefs on the Church this imposes on religious freedom. Here I liberally depart from traditional "liberal" or "progressive" correctness.

Theoretically, or maybe realistically, one may bring offense to everyone. It's OK.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Lit Note

Lit. Note: I have been silent on liturgical renewal lately but liturgical renewal never really stops among Lutherans. In my ecumenical fervor I simply find that Lutheran hymnals work best among Lutherans. The new LCMS hymnal is called the "Lutheran Service Book." Over the years each of the LCMS hymnals have demonstrated strengths of different kinds. The "Lutheran Service Book" or "LSB" combines some of these strengths while omitting others. Still, an LCMS congregation in liturgical renewal will certainly use the hymnal, especially nowadays.

Feb. 24 - St. Matthias, Apostle.

Nota litúrgica: También, entre los hispanos luteranos, el uso de los himnarios es parte de la renovación litúrgica, una señal que la congregación toma como algo serio la pregunta de la misa.