Monthly Archives: September 2010
Jerome was born in a little village on the Adriatic Sea around the year A.D. 345. At a young age he went to study in Rome, where he was baptized. After extensive travels, he chose the life of a monk and spent five years in the Syrian desert. There he learned Hebrew, the language of the Old Testament. Continue Reading
Today is the feast of Michaelmas in the church. It is a day that the church traditionally remembers and acknowledges God‘s other creatures — the angels. Chief among them is St. Michael. Angels are created beings although the Bible is silent as to the time of their creation. They also serve as messengers providing messages from God to men, foretelling special acts of God, agents of God’s wrath and judgment, and agents of the divine providence of God. Continue Reading
We Were Born to Live in this World — The Wisdom of Charlie Brown — Readings for Wednesday September 29, 2010
Today’s Peanuts cartoon is probably one of the most profound I have seen in a long time. Charlie Brown laments that he does not fit in, that the world is just passing him by. Lucy, in her inimitable way, shows him the vastness of this world, the only one out there, and blasts him with, “WELL, LIVE IN IT, THEN!” In the sequence in Mark 11 that we have been going over, Jesus gives us a similar admonition in the example of the fig tree. Continue Reading
We are using the Growing in Christ Sunday School series at Our Savior. Pr. Todd Wilken has a great interview series with Deaconess Pam Nielson from Concordia Publishing House that covers each Sunday School Lesson in this series throughout the year. The interview can be heard Monday mornings over at www.issuesetc.org either live or on demand through the archives. This is a great way for teachers to prepare for the weekly lesson. I will do my best to post a link to the lesson each week here. Since we are about two weeks behind, the link will be to the archived program.
Animation showing how the LCMS’s new theme of Witness, Mercy, Life Together all fit and come together.
I ran across this interview on the Te Deum on Issues, Etc. My children love to recite this hymn at morning devotions. It has been used in the church since the 4th or 5th century. There is no one known author, but it is a great credal, hymn of praise. The Te Deum, click to listen . I would love to hear an updated music setting.
Psalm 139 is often quoted during our small group discussions on Wednesdays. “O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I set down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all ways…”(vs. 1-3) It is a great joy to study and grow together as women of faith bonded together by the security we find in our awesome God. This week’s study we will concentrate on chapter 4 of Beth Moore’s book, “So Long Insecurity”. The title of this chapter is, “Good Company” and we will find that we are not alone in our insecurities. Insecurity is a result of sin in this world.
Continuing through the Gospel of Mark, we will finally complete Chapter 10. Fittingly in our walk, we are confronted with the beggar who stands in Jesus’ path as He passes through Jericho. Last week, we saw how the concept of redemption was woven into the culture and mindset of the children of Israel, as God gave it a primary place in the law of His children — redemption of the firstborn male child, male animal, redeeming the widow and property of a firstborn son who has left no heir, buying back family members who had given themselves as slaves or servants to foreigners when poor, redemption of land (Jeremiah 32:7 — God made him redeem land while Jerusalem was under siege and Judah was being given to Babylon), the firstborn Son of God and firstborn of Mary and Joseph (Luke 2:22) setting Himself on His way to Jerusalem to give His own life as a ransom for many.
This week the blind man at the city gate in Jericho presents the concept of mercy to ponder. But not in the way that you might think. Why did he ask for mercy? Why did Jesus stop? What did the blind man “see” in Jesus? Read Exodus 25:17-22. How do these verses help us understand mercy?
God willing, we will get through Mark 11:25, so plod ahead. Here we are taken from redemption and mercy to a tree outside of Jerusalem where Jesus gives a lesson on faith. It sounds much like a prayer for His disciples. We have much to learn from a tree, beginning all the way back in Genesis and running through the prophets. Some of the verses we will examine are as follows:
The Upward Football season kicked off today. The first play from scrimmage to start the game was a touchdown run. The size of the league has doubled, and there is now a wonderful group of cheerleaders supporting all of the teams. The boys and girls braved 92 degree weather, blazing hot sun, and no shade. And, above all, Christ was proclaimed throughout the day.
I am especially grateful to and for John and Betty Hagge, and Ray and Kate Cardinale. John and Betty have been tireless in their efforts to organize the program and make sure the event runs smoothly, tracking down as many volunteers as they can, running and stocking the concession stand. Ray and Kate really took the bull by the horns this year and got the league and teams organized, wrangling coaches, uniforms and equipment. Kate Cardinale and Heather Davis have organized a great group of girls to cheer at the games. All of these folks have spent endless hours making sure our kids and the community have the opportunity to play Football in a Christ centered environment. Most of the kids participating in the league do not attend Our Savior Lutheran Church. Their leadership has been nothing short of outstanding and inspiring. When you see them, be sure to thank them. And thank God for their dedication and service. We are truly blessed.
If you have not had the opportunity to watch the kids play, please do so. Volunteers are needed to run concessions, supervise the grounds, referee games, and cheer for the kids.
Today the church remembers Cyprian of Carthage, an early bishop in the church in North Africa. Cyprian, born ca. 200, lived through the persecutions of the Roman Emperor, Decius, and was instrumental in guiding the church through one of the most pressing problems to come out of the early persecutions — what do with those Christians and clergy who renounced the faith under these persecutions, but now wanted to return to the faith once the terror of the persecutions ceased. During the midst of these persecutions, a terrible plague ravaged the Roman empire, taking the lives of thousands a day. Christians like Cyprian ministered to the sick and dying in spite of the persecutions. Cyprian was exiled from Carthage in 257 by the local ruler for an epistle he wrote in defense of Christianity. He returned to Carthage after the death of that ruler, only to be condemned by his successor toe death. He was beheaded in AD 258. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs provides this short biography of Cyprian:
“Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, an eminent prelate, and a pious ornament of the Church. The brightness of his genius was tempered by the solidity of his judgment; and with all the accomplishments of the gentleman, he blended the virtues of a Christian. His doctrines were orthodox and pure; his language easy and elegant; and his manners graceful and winning: in fine, he was both the pious and polite preacher. In his youth he was educated in the principles of Gentilism, and having a considerable fortune, he lived in the very extravagance of splendor, and all the dignity of pomp.
About the year 246, Coecilius, a Christian minister of Carthage, became the happy instrument of Cyprian’s conversion: on which account, and for the great love that he always afterward bore for the author of his conversion, he was termed Coecilius Cyprian. Previous to his baptism, he studied the Scriptures with care and being struck with the beauties of the truths they contained, he determined to practise the virtues therein recommended. Subsequent to his baptism, he sold his estate, distributed the money among the poor, dressed himself in plain attire, and commenced a life of austerity. He was soon after made a presbyter; and, being greatly admired for his virtues and works, on the death of Donatus, in A.D. 248, he was almost unanimously elected bishop of Carthage.
Cyprian’s care not only extended over Carthage, but to Numidia and Mauritania. In all his transactions he took great care to ask the advice of his clergy, knowing that unanimity alone could be of service to the Church, this being one of his maxims, “That the bishop was in the church, and the church in the bishop; so that unity can only be preserved by a close connexion between the pastor and his flock.”
In A.D. 250, Cyprian was publicly proscribed by the emperor Decius, under the appellation of Coecilius Cyprian, bishop of the Christians; and the universal cry of the pagans was, “Cyprian to the lions, Cyprian to the beasts.” The bishop, however, withdrew from the rage of the populace, and his effects were immediately confiscated. During his retirement, he wrote thirty pious and elegant letters to his flock; but several schisms that then crept into the Church, gave him great uneasiness. The rigor of the persecution abating, he returned to Carthage, and did everything in his power to expunge erroneous opinions. A terrible plague breaking out in Carthage, it was as usual, laid to the charge of the Christians; and the magistrates began to persecute accordingly, which occasioned an epistle from them to Cyprian, in answer to which he vindicates the cause of Christianity. A.D. 257, Cyprian was brought before the proconsul Aspasius Paturnus, who exiled him to a little city on the Lybian sea. On the death of this proconsul, he returned to Carthage, but was soon after seized, and carried before the new governor, who condemned him to be beheaded; which sentence was executed on the fourteenth of September, A.D. 258.” Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, ed. William Byron Forbush, www.ccel.org.