Isaiah 55:6-9

+       +       +

“Seek the Lord where He may be found, call Him while He is near.  Let the scoundrel forsake his way, and the wicked man his thoughts.  Let him turn to the Lord for mercy; to our God, Who is generous in forgiving.  My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord.  As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are My ways above your ways, and My thoughts above your thoughts.

(Isaiah 55:6-9)

+       +       +

Next Sunday – the season of Advent begins.  Unfortunately, Advent is one of those instances in which the Church has permitted the culture of society to take over the Church’s heritage.  Advent is a penitential season – a season of calling to mind our sins and failures, and to look to the Christ Child as the Birth of our salvation.  In America, the “Christmas season” began two days ago, and has the inappropriate name of “Black Friday” – which makes no sense whatsoever to those who understand the seasons of the Church Year.

Next Sunday, we will read Matthew’s Gospel, telling us about John the Baptist, and sing “On Jordan’s Bank, the Baptist Cries.”  The rest of the words?  “Announces that the Lord is nigh” – “nigh” meaning “near.”  Why, that comes right from the opening of our lesson from Isaiah! – “Seek the Lord where He may be found, call upon Him while He is near!”

It is right there we see something of the quality and purpose of the book of Isaiah – his focus on the promises of God, and forgiveness.  Theologians call him “the Fifth Evangelist” – the Fifth Gospel writer – he writes so much like the Apostles in speaking of sin and forgiveness:

“Seek the Lord where He may be found, call Him while He is near.  Let the scoundrel forsake his way, and the wicked man his thoughts.  Let him turn to the Lord for mercy; to our God, Who is generous in forgiving.”

Perfect Law and Gospel – right out of the Catechism we learned in Confirmation Class.

But who is this “scoundrel – this wicked one with his thoughts?”   None of us are scoundrels, are we?  Or wicked with wicked thoughts, right?  Well, Isaiah is talking about each one of us – being scoundrels and wicked in thought, word and deed.  That’s not the kind of stuff we want to hear, now is it?  We tend to think of ourselves as “making a mistake here or there” – but a scoundrell?  Wicked?  Yes – that is exactly what Isaiah is saying, as do Christ and the Apostles in the Gospels and the New Testament.  Consider the words of Paul:

Read Ephesians 2:1-10.

Or the brief but pointed words of St. John (I – 1:8-9)

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Those sound just like Isaiah, and they should, because we are all scoundrels, wicked and dead in sin.  But God in Christ is rich in mercy – “generous” as Isaiah put it.  In the preaching of the Word in every Divine Liturgy, these truths of the Word, as well as the Baptism of Jesus which we celebrate next Sunday, the Baptism of Christ into which we, ourselves were buried together with Christ, that as He has risen, so we, too, shall rise!

That began the earthly ministry of Jesus to go to the Cross to redeem the world, for He did not come to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.  And Jesus taught and preached the very same, all the while preparing the Apostles as his first pastors and preachers, of whom we in the Ministry are their Scriptural descendants, preaching the Word in season and out of season!

And the last He did before His betrayal and crucifixion, was to institute His Sacrament of His Body and Blood, for us to eat and drink for the complete forgiveness of sin.  Again – Isaiah’s words hearken to us as we, the baptized, hear the Word of the Gospel, and receive His holy Body and Blood:

“Seek the Lord where He may be found, call Him while He is near.”

And here in this sancturary, at this pulpit and that font and especially, at that Holy Altar – He can be found here; He is nigh – near to us – as close as our ears and eyes and hands and mouths are tasting and seeing that the Lord is good, that He is found here and near to us always in our worship through the Liturgy – where He changes the scoundrels and the wicked and sinners – changes us – and makes us Children of God and His brothers and sisters for eternity!

With Isaiah, and all the Prophets and Apostles, and together with all the saints of whose number we all are –

“Let us always turn to the Lord for mercy; to our God, Who is generous in forgiving.”

In Christ Jesus –

Amen.

+       +       +

Advertisements

MAGA and More

General Musings and Observations on the Election

What the media did to President-Elect Trump during the campaign and primaries, was beneath contempt and an atrocious betrayal of their self-proclaimed role as bringers of the news, and their beclowning their First Amendment protection of their rights.  The commie/left DNC not only approved of their actions, they took part in it, planned virtually all of the protests, and paid for them.

None of that was (or should have been!) really a surprise.  What was the real surprise was that so many professing “Conservatives” played along as well, although when shown that, they screamed and still scream to high heaven and fancy themselves as being the “only” ones who got it right and are beyond any suspicion.  They listened to and took their cues from the screamers on the left and especially the media – and many of them are still mouthing media falsehoods and half-truths as justification for their position – even now that matters have been settled!

Intentionally stupid?  A good number – yes – were, and are continuing to be, intellectually stupid, not willing to examine the fact that they took as their news and sources, the very media they decry.  It was an almost Hamlin-ian response, as they danced to the piper’s notes from the left-wing media.  Of course, they did that, because the neo-con war party that the GOP has become, had already picked out their 16 sides of prime political beef, whom I call “the dwarfs” – and when the events of June 16th, 2015 hit us all, they recoiled like a vampire at the sight of a Cross in a grade-B horror movie!  They beat even the media at rejecting the then future President-Elect.  Horror of horrors, Trump “(wasn’t) Isn’t one of our kind, dearie” as BQ – perhaps one of the single best prognosticators and commentators on this election – loved to put it often.

So – what do you make of supposed “conservatives” – not merely the bosses of the GOP establishment, but the pundits and those who voted for Donald holding their nose because they knew that the female criminal on the opposition’s ticket would be intolerable, or for the sake of SCOTUS’ future, or both?

Well – they have decried the media in every way, shape and form, and yet, they somehow have, in working contradiction or in rank hypocrisy, bought completely the media’s incredibly false narratives and attacks on Trump.  When I ask some I know about that very contradiction, they stammer and stutter and accuse me of failing to be a “conservative.”  I respond that if they are an example of “conservatism,’ then yes, that is true.  But I also tell them that long before most all of them were even a gleam in their daddy’s eye, I was a conservative – not the Buckley-Kristol neocon-ish, perpetual war type (“that is not conservatism!“), but more in the mold Russell Kirk and others who had not turned the Constitution into a personal play toy, by which they tried to tell everyone what to do, live, and believe.  It is interesting – while everyone is focused on the shock wave from the Trump victory that blew the commie dems down and virtually out, it likewise flattened the faux conservatives, and with them, that which most have perceived to be the Grand Old Party.  Those days are now gone, and to that I, and others, are saying . . .

“Good riddance!”

Promises Kept

I kept my promise to myself – not to write this, despite all temptations to do otherwise – until today’s date – the 9th – the “day after.”

+       +       +

I was in the middle of the turn right off Breck Street onto FM 1960 here in Houston, and Trump made his announcement of his entering the race . . . June 16th, 2015.  It took me two minutes to get to the apartment, where my Bride was watching it on the lobotomy box.  I walked in and told her:

“He will win, and he has already planned for every contingency.”

He did.  He beat the GOPe dwarfs.  He beat the RNC at its own game.  He pounded on the press as hard or harder than they pounded o him (they still hate him for exposing them!).  They continued to attack – making up false stories and polls trying to prove it was impossible to win.  He was attacked with all manner of accusations of not being politically correct, and made idiots of those who tried.  He trashed the pseudo-conservatives in his own party, and despite their vitriol, had a field day with the leftist dems.  In short, he went through an anal unlike any other in the history of our politics.

So he spoke to the people – the real America.  Not the hoity-toity elites in politics or academia or Hollywood.  To the people . . . those who – to quote Jimmy Stewart talking to Mr. Potter: –

“Do the living and working and dying around here!”

Yeah – he went to the people – all of them – those not “smart enough” to be “elite” – but smart enough to know this country was way, way off track.  He spoke to their hopes and dreams for themselves and their children – of all races and colors, too!  He eve reached out to the elites and screaming libs on the East and Left coasts – although despite their extreme intelligence, simply could not or would not grasp his words.  Yeah – his warts showed – but they were mere bumps next to Hillary’s mountain range!  But he was spectacular in so many ways – in wartime, he would have been called what Patton called Rommel in the movie – a “magnificent bastard!”

He said apologizing was extremely difficult, and did it all along.  He was tender with children and generous to those in need.  He did something unheard of – he ran using his own money. He went to black churches and did not try, as did his opponent, to affect a black dialect.  And his message was the same – and surprisingly, his platform was and is, not really “populist” as accused by within his his own party – those who suffer what is now widely known as Trump Derangement Syndrome.  His platform, his goals, aimed at the proper service to the America people, turned out to be surprisingly . . .

Conservative.  Oh how he was reviled for that!  In fact. he was thrust out further into the GOPe darkness.  H9w he was hated by the elites and the political know-it-alls.

But not any of those who he had come to serve.  He, to this moment, long after the bands have stopped playing and the crowds have gone home, and in his dignified victory speech, reached out to all the people – inviting all to work together for that which we have not had in decades – a united America.  Not these various camps of special interest groups, although I fear we shall be forever stuck with those leeches!  Those of whom the Constitution speaks and defends – those to whom he spoke of this entire election process- the people.  And he even put in some good words for his opponent.  A gracious man.

He overcame all of it – all the crap and ridicule and lies, as well as expert advisors without whose advice he would surely lose – and beat them all!  Donald won it doing what he knew was truly best for this country, and permitted no one – no one – to cause him to deviate from his goal.  And, he had the good sense and the class, not to credit himself as having won a victory, but the American people who won.

Let the forever-critics continue frothing at the mouth with their petty nothings.  Let all those who railed and said “NEVER!” – quietly eat their crow dinner.  For once in a long time – America won – really won.  May it likewise hearken to our President Elect – “Let us . . .”

“Make America Great Again!”

+       +       +

In Nomine Patris, et Filii + et Spiritus Sancti.  Amen.

+       +       +

Update: Final Electoral College tally –  305-233 Trump.

All Saints Day

I have but one personal note: My baby brother Marty, who entered the Blessed Throng pictured the top of the painting on March 3rd of this year and with whom I celebrated the eternity of his Holy Baptism in his Christian Burial on March 5th, was born on All Saints Day, in the Year of Our Lord, 1960.

“For All the Saints Who from Their Labors Rest”
by William W. How, 1823-1897

1. For all the saints who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confess,
Thy name, O Jesus, be forever blest,
Alleluia! Alleluia!

2. Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress, and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well-fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

3. Oh, may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

4. O blest communion, fellowship divine,
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

5. And when the fight is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

6. But, lo, there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of Glory passes on His way.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

7. From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Alleluia! Alleluia!

8. The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon, to faithful warriors cometh rest.
Sweet is the calm of Paradise the blest.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Hymn #463
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Heb. 12:1
Author: William W. How, 1864, cento
Composer: R. Vaughan Williams, 1906, arr.
Tune: “Sine nomine

Pax