Christmass for Real

Christmass Liturgy in Aleppo, Syria

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And even more.  Russian officers in attendance, no less.  Why Reuters has been about as reliable as the rest of the media.  Which is to say – Not!  This was Christian Holy Land long before Ole Mo wrapped his head too tight with his turban and began having his wretched dreams, and Christians will reclaim their lands from the butchers.

Here is Obama’s and Kerry’s “eeee-vil man.”  Talk to an Orthodox priest about Syria.  You’ll get an earful.

“Built on the Rock the Church doth Stand”
by Nicolai F.S. Grundtvig, 1783-1872
Translated by Carl Doving, 1867-1937

1. Built on the Rock the Church doth stand,
Even when steeples are falling;
Crumbled have spires in every land,
Bells still are chiming and calling,
Calling the young and old to rest,
But above all the soul distrest,
Longing for rest everlasting.

2. Surely in temples made with hands,
God, the Most High, is not dwelling;
High above earth His temple stands,
All earthly temples excelling.
Yet He whom heavens cannot contain
Chose to abide on earth with men,
Built in our bodies His temple.

3. We are God’s house of living stones,
Builded for His habitation;
He through baptismal grace us owns
Heirs of His wondrous salvation.
Were we but two His name to tell,
Yet He would deign with us to dwell,
With all His grace and His favor.

4. Now we may gather with our King
E’en in the lowliest dwelling;
Praises to Him we there may bring,
His wondrous mercy forthtelling.
Jesus His grace to us accords;
Spirit and life are all His words;
His truth doth hallow the temple.

5. Still we our earthly temples rear
That we may herald His praises;
They are the homes where He draws near
And little children embraces.
Beautiful things in them are said;
God there with us His covenant made,
Making us heirs of His kingdom.

6. Here stands the font before our eyes
Telling how God did receive us;
The altar recalls Christ’s sacrifice
And what His table doth give us;
Here sounds the Word that doth proclaim
Christ yesterday, today, the same,
Yea, and for aye our Redeemer.

7. Grant then, O God, where’er men roam,
That, when the church-bells are ringing,
Many in saving faith may come
Where Christ His message is bringing:
“I know Mine own, Mine own know Me;
Ye, not the world, My face shall see.
My peace I leave with you.” Amen.

Hymn #467
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Eph. 2: 19-22
Author: Nicolai F.S. Grundtvig, 1837
Translated by: Carl Doving, 1909, alt.
Titled: “Kirken den er et gammelt Hus”
Composer: Ludvig M. Lindeman, 1871
Tune: “Kirken den er et”

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God is Here

We Confessional Lutherans need to learn a lesson of two about chancel and sancturary appontments.

The urge to look heavenward is undeniable!

Saint Georges’s – Gand Rapids, Michigan

 

Ty and The Forgotten Gospel

The Forgotten Christmass Gospel

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He looked at the bit of papyrus in his hand as he walked.  “Every year for 40 years!”  he thought to himself.  Thessi was still the essence of youth it seemed, still a raven haired beauty with her lithe figure.  He patted his tummy and thought, I am not that young, fit and trim legionnaire that took her as his bride.  He alone, it seemed, had found true love with a woman, something Roman legionnaires rarely found among their brides of war they married.  Thessi (named for her region) was like many wives – half Greek, half Roman.  Thessalonica had been under peaceful Roman dominion for almost two hundred years.  At the time it was 40 years after the Great Census of Augustus.  That great movement of people was long ago history – the only hiccup in peace had been that radical Pilate had to execute a decade before they married.

She bore him three fine sons, all of whom were now serving as commanders of rank in the Roman Army – one in Egypt, one in Spain, and one in Rome itself.  His family was well-place, he thought.  Of course, he too had risen in rank quickly – Thessi serving the Head Regent had assured that.  And when her Regent shifted to Rome, Ty got orders to ride with them to his new post in Rome, commanding the great Caesar’s guard guarding the walls or Rome, no less.  The only change had been – Thessi got very secretive about her worship of her Logos god.  In Rome, it was a taboo subject for all.  That deranged emperor Caligula the Senate had approved some 40 years ago, had actually had Rome set afire and blamed the Christians.  Emperors since (“All of them were kind of whacked out,” thought Ty) had persecuted Christians after that.  Paul lost his head.  His successor, Peter, preached for some time in the catacombs, but was eventually caught and crucified – but he had kept preaching openly in the streets.  Somehow the physician Luke had avoided execution, but as a Gentile citizen and a doctor, he kept his head.  He took to the catacombs and avoided public exposure.

As in Thessalonica and now Rome, Thessi continued being in charge of arranging the new, but great feast of Saturnalia – for her Regent hosted it near the end of every year.  She was overseer over all of it.  The priests, dressed in special garments, would lay out the god in effigy in the large reclining sofa in the banquet hall of the Temple, to show he was partaking of the great feast, too.  Candles were everywhere, for it was a Feast of Lights, and of revealing, too.  Revealing of what, Ty never could figure out.  There were great feastings and much, much new wine, and it culminated on the 23rd with the Feast of Lights, the food and drink and any exhortations by the priests done by candle light, and then – gifts were passed out to all.  Thessi had quite a responsibility, so when she would tell Ty she was off to the catacombs near  midnight on the 24th, he would gladly see her safely to her secret entrance.  He could have gotten further promotions had he revealed Luke and the special catacomb, to the emperor, but it would have destroyed his marriage and his whole life.  Thessi had been true as her sect demanded she be faithful to her husband, and he loved her far, far too much to betray her trust!

Two years ago, after Thessi’s many years of patiently asking, Ty finally agreed to join her at midnight.  She told him his worries about his uniform were no worry at all, telling him of the legionnaire whose servant’s child Jesus had healed, and who later call Jesus the Son of God at that bloody crucifixion of Pilate’s, of Jesus.

Two years ago he heard about Matthew’s story of that syphilitic ass Herod, going around butchering children to get Jesus, who was also called King of Jews for some reason   He never knew why, but he knew Herod was an ass who did the whole kingdom a favor by dying soon after.

Last year, he heard the longer, most moving tale told by Luke, in Luke own words in the catacomb.  Luke had kept on keeping his head, and Ty thought the story he told was one of the most moving he had ever heard.  Better than anything about any Roman or Greek god.  But he still couldn’t see what made Thessi so faithful after all these years.

She mentioned faith in Jesus all the time.  It somehow didn’t strike him as necessary.  But today as he shopped for his bride, his soul deeply troubled him.  She persuaded him to go last Sunday night – before her Christmas worship, because there was a very special preacher there for just the one night.

He went, and nothing had been the same since.  It was John, who officially and supposedly was exiled to the island of Patmos, and was to have long ago supposed to drop dead, according to everyone.  John sat behind the local priest on the back wall while the local priest led the flock in song.  This man was nowhere near dead – white robe and long, pure white hair and beard – but it was his eyes! – twin beans of energized light that caused even the candles themselves to burn brighter!   This man was very much alive, far from dead, and not one of them there, not even John, could know of the magnificent writing that he would yet pen in 5 years about angels and Jesus and the end days and what was called the Last Day.  Tyronius, standing next to his bride in the back of the room, just stared, and then, John’s eyes got even brighter as he stood and his ultra-bright eyes seemed to bore into Ty’s directly, and he began to preach what he called his newest Christmas story.

And Ty knew, in that very moment,  his life never would, never could be – the same!

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John 1:1-18  (read sermonically!)

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the and the Word was God.

He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome the dark.

2 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11  He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, glory of the of the only begotten of God, full of grace and truth.  Amen.

jb

Ahhhhhhh!

It was a distinct treat and privilege to wait and watch – I am glad I refrained from writing, so as not to break the spell of what I was watching.  To put it in its simplest terms, on June 16, 2015, when The Donald announced his Presidential attentions, I turned to my bride and told her:

“Watch the man closely – he will be the next President!”

It happened.  Step by step – it happened.  The man was ultra-prepared – better than any candidate ever known.  He took down the puritanical dwarfs of the GOPe, shut up their idiot backers, the Bushies and Romney and the rest of the establishment dwarfs at National Review and The Weekly Standard.  He demolished the Liar in the White House as a fraud and a charlatan.  And the way in which he beat Hillary Clinton (and Bill) and the dem party every which way but loose was a once in a lifetime thing of beuty to behold.  He has left the dem commies in such a sea of disarray, as this quote from BQ’s (another “since day 1″ compadre) clearly shows:

“The Left doesn’t understand any of this, and they won’t reformulate their playbook. They will stick tohe same failed script, as we have already seen just in the last few weeks since the election. Years from now, and likely even decades from now, the Left will still be trying their stealth (and not-so-stealth) propaganda/indoctrination/bullying efforts, and they will continue to fail.

“That’s why Trump’s victory is so historically significant: It is a major paradigm shift in the arc of history that completely destroys the leftists’ long-term game plan, past, present and future. To such an extent that now we’re playing an entirely new game with entirely new rules.

“But the left refuses to acknowledge this, and they will continue to play the old game. So they will lose. And lose. And lose. And lose. Over and over and over again until they too see the futility of the entire leftist worldview.”

Another pertinent quote I want to remember, is from Rev. Fr. Larry Beane, a fellow pastor within the LCMS, as related by my best friend Suz from Facebook:

“Let’s resolve to make 2017 the most politically incorrect year ever! Let’s use hashtags, fly our flags, express our opinions to anyone we choose, any way we choose, ignore their proscriptions, laugh at their professors, and use the political process to stop funding their identity agenda. Let’s celebrate western civilization and American history and don’t let anyone denigrate our rich and diverse heritages (which these sad little boys and girls just lump in the catch-all pejorative “white”).

“(Hey, is my skin white? It doesn’t look white to me. It looks like a shade of beige.)

“But most of all, have fun, crack jokes, and be joyful! These brainwashed neo-puritans are the most uptight, dour, pietistic, dreary cadre of aparatchiks since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

We owe it to them to teach them humor, humility, and how real people (yes, with jobs) actually live together in real communities without sucking all the joy out of life and creating walls between groups of people.

“If you want to learn how different ethnic groups can actually live together and interact, watch Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino”.

“I think we can have a real year of cultural hope and change by reintroducing freedom, discourse, rigorous intellectual debate rooted in logic (not feelings) and a refusal to be told what to do by ninnies whose knowledge of the world comes from their fill-in-the-blank “studies” classes.”

“I like my resolutions better!

I do believe Fr. Beane is also a “16er” – 6/16/15, as I recall.  I do not wish ill on a soul, but I do so enjoy the hand-wringing and blame slinging of the dems, the Clintons and Podesta and their klingon followers, and the every day commies.  Of courwse it is all rank hypocrisy – ὑποκριτής  – in its original meaning: wearing a mask as an actor.  Actors on a stage.

I feel no sympathy for the commie left.  They exist as a ruse, so all the machinations and supposed weeping and gnashing of teeth are all an act.

However, there was one tangible, delightful result of this whole herculean effort by President-Elect Trump:  Not the demise of the Bushies and Romney and the old GOP establishment – all of whom Trump put out in the pasture of permanent retirement and irrelevance.  No, even more tangible:

Hillary is finished!  Repeat it!  Sing it!  Dance to it!!!.  She is done!  It is a triumph exceeding all the other victories along the way.  Hillary is done!

All of that, and that Donald ALSO ripped open the commie left media and fully exposed them – no one but a few of us true believers could imagine that, or the level of preparedness Donald had to have had, and for which he actively prepared for before 1/16/15.

And that is the real story of the election of 2016!  Others will find their sweet spot over which to rejoice, but I want the root (Latin: radix, radical!) of the story.  It is right there to be told, and no one is telling it.  Oh, some are in bits and pieces, but they are not putting those bits and pieces together to get the organic whole!

Donald Trump, by  himself, PRE-planned every step to this point, prepared for every contingency and took the public route that upset the most, and worst apple-carts of the commie left, the GOPe, and the media.  When he announced on the 16th, all of this had been played out time and time again in his mind, and all of it was executed with the exact precision of a master engineer.  Whatever seemed to most agg4ravate and rile up b9th political parties, or even his competition, he siad or did – precisely for the reactions that came about – even to the extent of rattling some of his true supporters.  Not me.  I was so enjoying the entire show – nothing like it had ever come about in politics in my lifetime, and his take-down of Megyn Kelly with his “blood” comments?  Calculated.  He served notice to the entire media complex by totally embarrassing the darling of the most conservative news organization (which fired Ailes and has now shown itself to be as left as the rest of the media).  He has turned the media inside out and left it retching having to tell the truth (still very hard for them to do) – all of it pre-planned – as if (and I believe he could!) he envisioned every step, every action and reaction, know when to rile, knew when to retreat.  And it worked – all of it, as he intended.  The political world has never seen such determined planning, preparation, and enactment in full force.

That he exposed the GOPe as nothing but a bunch of worn out philosophical Buckey-ites – by no means “conservative,” and mere fossils hanging around merely to get, as Bill Quick put it so well – “Get their iron gravy bowls filled.”  And dems as commies – all of it was genius.  But for me personally, besides the destruction of the Clintons and the rest, that was of particular delight to me:

His take down and destruction (politically speaking) of Lyin’ Ted Cruz.  It was masterful, and phenomenal!  It was not by accident – what happen had to be pre-planned.  Donald knew his “enemy” – took Cruz on head on, then after securing the nomination, back way back, and let Cruz go onstage at the convention and personally self-destruct, without Cruz knowing that was what he was doing.  It was the master’s stroke – deadly to a politician such as Cruz, exposed as a Bushite, Wall-st4reet beggar, and liar to the voters.  Trump stood back and let Cruz ultimately destroy himself.

So today, I take a deep, satisfied “sigh.”  It’s all over and done as of yesterday.  Let the pundits go on to that which is, to them, is most  inexplicable.

I await January 21st – when the truly impossible begins.  We have the truly right man at the helm, Sports Fans.  🙂

Pax