"Jesus, Lord of My Time? Reflections on a Gift and its Sacred Use."
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"O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will tell about your praise." Psalm 51:15
By asking the Lord to open his lips, David showed how difficult it is to offer thanks to God. This is something God demands of us (Psalm 50:14).
Talking about the Lord and thanking him publicly require an extreme amount of courage and strength because the devil is constantly trying to stop people from doing this. If we could see all of Satan's traps, we would know why David prayed for the Sprit's strength and asked the Lord himself to open David's lips. He wanted to tell the devil, the world, kings, princes, and everyone about the Lord.
Many things can keep our lips shut: the fear of danger, the hope of gaining something, or even the advice of friends. The devil uses these ways to stop us from offering thanks to God, as I have often experienced in my life. And yet, at important times, when God's honor was threatened, God stood by me and opened my mouth in spite of the obstacles. The Spirit urges us on, just as Peter says, "We cannot stop talking about what we've seen and heard" (Acts 4:20). The Spirit prays to God for us with many groans (Romans 8:26). Then, the Lord opens our lips to announce his praise.
Whenever Scdriptrue talks about praising God publicly, it's talking about something extremely dangerous. This is because announcing his praise is nothing other than opposing the devil, the world, our own currupt nature, and everything evil. For how can you praise God without first declaring that the world is guilty and codemned? Anyone who condemns the world is asking to be hated and puts himself in a very dangerous situation.
Prayer, Public Praise, and Thanksgiving to God (The Liturgy / Public Worship). Luther writes, "Sixth, the holy Christian people are externally recognized by prayer, public praise, and thanksgiving to God. Where you see and hear the Lord’s Prayer prayed and taught; or psalms or other spiritual songs sung, in accordance with the word of God and the true faith; also the creed, the Ten Commandments, and the catechism used in public, you may rest assured that a holy Christian people of God are present. For prayer, too, is one of the precious holy possessions whereby everything is sanctified, as St. Paul says [I Tim. 4:5]. The psalms too are nothing but prayers in which we praise, thank, and glorify God. The creed and the Ten Commandments are also God’s word and belong to the holy possession, whereby the Holy Spirit sanctifies the holy people of Christ." (AE 41, 164)
For Luther, the liturgy was the means by which God's Word came to God's people, thus the people needed to hear this life-giving Word read and preached. Throughout the Divine Service, the Word of God dominates the liturgy from Kyrie to Gloria in Excelsis to the Scripture readings to Sanctus to Agnus Dei. As you read Luther's description of the rite, you see his evangelical impulse bringing forth the gospel throughout the flow of the service. For example, the Alleluia that precedes the Gospel is "the perpetual voice of the church" responding to the gifts given in the very words of Jesus. In the same way, the Pax Domini after the Words of Institution is considered by Luther to be a form of absolution. Luther's perception of the Word of God was not wooden, that is, for him it was not simply the text of the Scriptures. Rather, it is Jesus, the Word made flesh, who comes to us through preaching. "For Luther, the word of God is not primarily a text; it is first and foremost an oral even--the act of preaching." This is why Luther's greatest contribution to liturgical reform was the revival of preaching. p. 250
But what a fine lot of tender and pious children we are! In order that we might not have to study in the Sciptures and learn Christ there, we simply regard the entire Old Testament as of no account, as done for and no longer valid. Yet it alone bears the name of Holy Scripture. And the gospel should really not be something written, but a spoken word which brought forth the Scriptures, as Christ and the apostles have done. This is why Christ himself did not write anything but only spoke. He called his teaching not Scipture but gospel, meaning good news or a proclamation that is spread not by pen but by word of mouth. So we go on and make the gospel into a law book, a teaching of commandments, changing Christ into a Moses, the One who would help us into simply an instructor. (In Lull, p. 110)
We readily speak of the Eucharist as the real presence of Christ, but we should also speak of Christ's presence in His Word. We tend to say, properly so, that the Holy Spirit works through the Word in order to create faith. But we need to add that faith is created because of the real presence of Jesus Christ according to both His divine and human natures. In His Word, Christ is present in His body and soul, flesh and blood. He is present in the Word not to feed our bodies but our souls. The problem comes in describing this presence, and Lutheran dogmatic categories about the presence of Christ in the Word could well be more fully developed. This presence is, or course, a mystery, but one that we affirm as part of our understanding of Christ's real presence in the liturgy. The one present bodily in the Lord's Supper first invites us through the Gopspel and preaching. Preaching cannot be divorced from the Sacrament, and all Christian preaching must in fact be Christological and sacramental. This affirms our confession that Christ promised to be present by His Spirit whereever His Word is read and preached in the Church's worship.Two things here. It strikes me that he says that "the dogmatic categories about the presence of Christ in the Word could well be more fully developed". You would think that with our emphasis on the external word, the means of grace, we would have this very well developed.
Viva Vox JesuBy the way, Wikipedia has for "kerygma" this definition:
Viva vox Jesu--the living voice of Jesus--is what we hear when His Word is read and preached. The Word of Jesus is both a written and an oral word. this Word, though written in words inspired and canonically received, is also spoken and heard within a community called the bgody of Christ. this voice is a living voice, for by it jesus Christ is present for us bodily.
This Word comes from the Word made flesh, a Word that has creative power--power to cast out demons, heal the sick, raise the dead, and release us from our sins. With the Old Testament saints, we acknowledge that God's Word is God's food for hungry pilgrims who have journeyed in Christ through a baptism of His death and resurrection toward the final destination of full communion with Him in heaven.
This Word is interpreted within the community, broken open through preaching as hearts burn through proclamation of prophet and apostle. At the center of our task of interpretation is the understanding that exegesis is always undertaken with preaching as central to our explication of the Scriptures, for the Scriptures wer meant to be preached. To interpret Scriptures rightly requires a proper method of interpretation that reflects a biblical theology of preaching. As a result, to confess our preaching as Viva vox Jesu is also to speak of the centrality of christ in Holy Scripture. and those who proclaim Christ's living voice suffer for that proclamation.
Ulrich Asendorf, an enlightened Luther scholar, describes the Viav vox Evangelii. He provides a corrective to those who claim for Lutehr a narrow view of sensus literalis, which means "the literal sense." But he begins by stating how important it is to see the Word of God as a preached Word. Asendorf writes:
[Viva vox Evangelii is] one of the key words and catch phrases in Protestant theology. Its common usage refers to the Word of God as kerygmatically understood. Accordingly, God's Word is first and foremost the preached Word. Certainly, thereby is meant one of the central concerns not only of the theology of Martin Luther but also that of the Reformation in general.
Hughes Oliphant Old describes a very similar understanding of the Word of God among both the New Testament writers as well as the Early Church fathers. He speaks of this as Christ's "kerygmatic presence" and cites numerous examples in the Gospels and Paul's epistles where Scripture testifies that its very nature is kerygmjatic, particularly Luke 10:16 and its parallel in Matthew 10:40. For Old, "kerygmatic presence" simply means "that when the word of Christ is truly preached, then Christ is present."
Kerygma (Greek: κήρυγμα, kérugma) is the Greek word used in the New Testament for preaching (see Luke 4:18-19, Romans 10:14, Matthew 3:1). It is related to the Greek verb κηρύσσω (kērússō), to cry or proclaim as a herald, and means proclamation, announcement, or preaching.
The New Testament teaches that as Jesus launched his public ministry he entered the synagogue and read from the scroll of Isaiah the prophet. He identified himself as the one Isaiah predicted in Isa 61 (Luke 4:17-21). The text is a programmatic statement of Jesus' ministry to preach or proclaim (Kerygma), good news to the poor and the blind and the captive.