Friday, August 27, 2010

Forde audio

Got those from Peggy's links on FB.  Will try and listen to them soon.  Have one playing right now, but I should go paint.  Should try and take this with me.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"Befiehl du deine Wege" by Paul Gerhard, in English, #754, "Entrust Your Days and Burdens"

This is a note to myself.

Sometimes I am searching for this hymn because I have only ever sung it once in church from the new hymnal and I don't know the English first line:  "Entrust your days and burdens to God's most loving hands", is what it is.  I just found it again.  Maybe I've even made a post about this before.  Our brains are not what they used to be.

Then it also has a different tune in English:  "Sufficientia", which means I can't find it that way either.

Entrust Your Days and Burdens. #754

The text in English is not in public domain.  So you will have to buy a Lutheran Service Book from CPH, which is not a bad investment.  Go for it.

In German, each verse begins with the successive words from Psalm 37: 5:  "Commit your way to the Lord;  trust in him and he will do this"   or  "Befiehl dem Herrn deinen Weg und hoffe auf ihn, er wird's wohl machen." 

Befiehl du deine Wege
Und was dein Herze kränkt,
Der allertreusten Pflege
Des, der den Himmel lenkt!
Der Wolken, Luft und Winden,
Gibt Wege, Lauf und Bahn,
Der wird auch Wege finden,
Da dein Fuß gehen kann.

Dem Herren mußt du trauen,
Wenn dir’s soll wohlergehn;
Auf sein Werk must du schauen,
Wenn dein Werk soll bestehn.
Mit Sorgen und mit Grämen
Und mit selbsteigner Pein
Läßt Gott sich gar nichts nehmen,
Es muß erbeten sein.

Dein’ ew’ge Treu’ und Gnade,
O Vater, weiß und sieht,
Was gut sei oder schade
Dem sterblichen Geblüt;
Und was du dann erlesen,
Das treibst du, starker Held,
Und bringst zum Stand und Wesen,
Was deinem Rat gefällt.

Weg’ hast du allerwegen,
An Mitteln fehlt dir’s nicht;
Dein Tun ist lauter Segen,
Dein Gang ist lauter Licht,
Dein Werk kann niemand hindern,
Dein’ Arbeit darf nicht ruhn,
Wenn du, was deinen Kindern
Ersprießlich ist, willst tun.

Und ob gleich alle Teufel
Hier wollten widerstehn,
So wird doch ohne Zweifel
Gott nicht zurückegehn;
Was er sich vorgenommen,
Und was er haben will,
Das muß doch endlich kommen
Zu seinem Zweck und Ziel.

Hoff, o du arme Seele,

Hoff und sei unverzagt!
Gott wird dich aus der Höhle,
Da dich der Kummer plagt,
Mit großen Gnaden rücken;
Erwarte nur die Zeit,
So wirst du schon erblicken
Die Sonn’ der schönsten Freud’.

Auf, auf, gib deinem Schmerze
Und Sorgen gute Nacht!
Laß fahren, was dein Herze
Betrübt und traurig macht!
Bist du doch nicht Regente
Der alles führen soll;
Gott sitzt im Regimente
Und führet alles wohl.

Ihn, ihn laß tun und walten,
Er ist ein weiser Fürst
Und wird sich so verhalten,
Daß du dich wundern wirst,
Wenn er, wie ihm gebühret,
Mit wunderbarem Rat
Die Sach’ hinausgeführet,
Die dich bekümmert hat.

Er wird zwar eine Weile
Mit seinem Trost verziehn
Und tun an seinem Teile,
Als hätt’ in seinem Sinn
Er deiner sich begeben,
Und sollt’st du für und für
In Angst und Nöten schweben,
Frag’ er doch nichts nach dir.

Wird’s aber sich befinden,
Daß du ihm treu verbleibst
So wird er dich entbinden,
Da du’s am mind’sten gläubst;
Er wird dein Herze lösen
Von der so schweren Last,
Die du zu keinem Bösen
Bisher getragen hast.

Wohl dir, du Kind der Treue!
Du hast und trägst davon
Mit Ruhm und Dankgeschreie
Den Sieg und Ehrenkron’.
Gott gibt dir selbst die Palmen
In deine rechte Hand,
Und du singst Freudenpsalmen
Dem, der dein Leid gewandt.

Mach End’, o Herr, mach Ende
An aller unsrer Not,
Stärk unsre Füß’ und Hände
Und laß bis in den Tod
Uns allzeit deiner Pflege
Und Treu’ empfohlen sein,
So gehen unsre Wege
Gewiß zum Himmel ein.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Light for a dark world

A little Luther for today.  He so much wanted us to read God's Word for ourselves.  He always points to Christ and he always points us to the Bible, where we find him.  We are to disregard human teachings and looking to works and reason.

Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.  Psalm 119:105

God considers human reason, wisdom, morality, and even sunlight for that matter, to be dark and hazy compared to his Word.  God's Word is a flame that shines in the darkness.  Through teaching, preaching, and the sacraments, its glow spreads.  If we use this light, then God will no longer remain hidden from us.

When we're faced with disasters, when we're overwhelmed by darkness, when things seem so dark that we doubt that we are part of the church or pleasing to God, then we should learn to reach for the Bible.  We shouldn't let people who fall away from the faith distract us.  Instead, we should recognize that we live in a dark world.  The only reason we can see at all is that the light of God's Word shines brightly (2 Peter 1:19).

Jesus said, "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved"  (Mark 16:16).  The light of these words is shining in our hearts.  Even if the sun were shining brightly, it couldn't reveal this truth.  Human reason by itself can't grasp it.  Wherever the Bible sheds its light, no real danger exists.  Without the Bible, we wouldn't know or understand anything.

Monday, August 23, 2010

More "Heaven on Earth"

I found "Heaven and Earth"  by Arthur Just again.  It was by my bed.  (Well what was it doing there.)

Something from the section on the the Lord's Prayer.  There is really good stuff there.  Well, all of it is really good.  So good I can only read a few pages at a time, as I said before.

The Sixth Petition

Both bread and the forgiveness of sins shed light on the final petition:  "Lead us not into temptation"  (Luke 11:4).  The Father who gives all good gifts allowed even His Son to be tempted by Satan in the wilderness, and that temptation went so far as to include the suggestion to put (physical, earthly) bread ahead of the Word of God and to seek worldly glory instead of properly worshiping God alone (Luke 4:1-13).  Jesus will also speak of Satan's desire to "to sift you [the disciples] as wheat"  (Luke 22:31).  Trials and sufferings come because of the preaching of the kingdom.  The disciples will be rejected as Jesus was rejected.  This opposition is a given with the coming of the kingdom.  To pray not to be led into temptation is to pray for the resources necessary to avoid succumbing to that temptation.  The disciples are to pray that though they are assailed by the devil, the world, and the sinful nature,  God would preserve them from falling into apostasy.  Taken together, the petitions for bread, for forgiveness, and for keeping them from succumbing to temptation are petitions to help the disciples be kept in the one true, saving faith so that they  "may finally overcome them and win the victory." 

This one hit me because I was talking with someone about Satan.  He is such an outmoded concept, but I think of him quite a bit.  He is out to get me.  This is not paranoia.  He wants to live in my brain.  I know him.  He wants my soul.  He wants my confidence in my Lord.  Ha, he can't have it.  (Trotz dem alten Drachen. Trotz dem Todesrachen.  Trotz der Furcht dazu.)

A good petition.  This sixth one.


That is a great poem, Myrtle.  Thank you.  XO

A good one for wives, too.  A little empathy is a good thing.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Early Christianity

This is a little excerpt from a book from the Christian History project developed by our Albertan maverick Ted Byfield. It is from book 2:  A Pinch of Incense, AD 70-250.

Not until 250, under Decius, did the empire as a whole attack the Christians systematically.  The earlier sporadic persecutions were nonetheless terrifying.  Christians could live in undisturbed peace for years, then suddenly be confronted with sheer horror.  The threat of arrest was always there.  After all, though they might meet in secret, they lived for the most part in full view of their neighbors in the empire's most populous cities.  It was there, of course, that the first evangelists could find the biggest audiences.  By A.D. 80-90 there were already Gentile Christians living in Rome, and by the middle of the second century their numbers approached thirty thousand, enough to support an impressive professional staff of 150 presbyters or priests, plus deacons and full-time "visitors."  They could hardly be called an underground church.

As city folk, they were mostly artisans, tent-makers, cloth-dealers, laborers, slaves and servants, potters, plasterers, masons, and tavern keepers.  They also included people of wealth and station;  their early writings reveal a sophistication found only among the educated classes.  Their preaching in the marketplaces, their mixed-gender services, their care for the sick, all in the tightly packed living conditions of Rome, inevitably drew attention, much of it scornful.  Their children were taunted by other children.  Christians were ridiculed in graffiti like the one still there on the Palatine Hill, showing a man standing before a crucified donkey, over the words, "Alexamenos worships his god."

The rumors of their sexual excesses lay in sharp contrast to the facts.  Many took Paul's advice and became celibates, vowing they would never marry.  Divorce was disapproved among the Christians.  So was the remarriage of widows.  Some observers, like the second-century pagan physician Galen, wrote admiringly of them:  "They include not only men, but also women who refrain from cohabiting all their lives;  and they also number individuals who, in self-discipline and self-control, have attained a pitch not inferior to that of genuine philosophers."  Fidelity and chastity in marriage were still ideals in imperial Rome, respected if not observed, but Christians practiced them so conspicuously and universally they became hallmarks of their faith.

They similarly distinguished themselves by their support for the needy, the sick, for widows and orphans.  They consistently networked.  The wealthier employed the needy, preferred their brethren in business, and opened their houses as meeting places, adorning the walls with frescoes and the floors with mosaics showing communion loaves, chalices, praying figures, and such symbols of Christ as lambs and fish.  The Christians were their own mutual-aid society that transcended class.

They distanced themselves from their neighbors in other ways.  Most refused to attend the gladiatorial games, or use imperial coins that proclaimed the emperor a god, or teach school, let the syllabus require retelling the bawdy shenanigans of pagan deities.  They shunned the theater for the same reason, along with sculpture or painting, and they denounced rampant homosexuality with in the public baths.  A Christian had to be careful in businesses where contracts were sealed with oaths to deified emperors. pp. 9-70.

I pulled out this quote because several things struck me.   One the whole idea of the "mutual aid society" and the care of widows and orphans again.  Another the preaching in the "market place".  What would that have been?  Another blogger keeps asking "Where is Mars hill"?  Where do you engage the public, not the converted? Where is there even a market place, nowadays?  The other point is the church staff of "visitors."  I've been wondering for our church, can we not have some "visitors", as we seem to have had when reading Luther and the early presidents of the synod.

That's all for now.

Luther and Reason

James Swan asked me to translate a little untranslated Luther for a blog post for him.  If you are interested you can find the post and the translation here

God's own Child, I Gladly Say It.

Speaking about hymns.  The other night I went walking to Pastor Weedon's talk from Issues, ect. and enjoyed it very much.  Do listen to it :

My husband and I talked about the hymn discussed:  "God's own Child, I gladly say it."  LSB #594.   Neither one of us has ever sung it before, and it made Issues etc. listeners' Favorite Hymn.  So I sang it for him, the best I could.  Then I found it in the German hymn book.  I don't recall having sung that before either. 

Isn't that strange.  A favorite hymn of many we've never sung.  These hymn studies on Issues are a great idea!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

America is such a beautiful land but people only sing in churches.

But it wasn't the weather alone or the view which buoyed him.  Alternating between the hymnal and Bible in his pocket, he read the New Testament and sang the hymns of  "my beloved Paul Gerhardt."  "Many times the grace of my Savior so struck me with joy ... that I simply had to sing aloud"...  Wyneken found it inconceivable that America was such a beautiful land, yet people only sang in churches.  "He who is no longer deeply sensible of the joy in Luther's Christmas hymns, of the jubilation in our Easter hymns, of Paul Gerhardt's 'God for us' and 'Christ for me,' should examine himself to see whether his theology is not more closely related to the Koran than to the gospel"  [Werner Elert]

A little book on Joy.  Matt Harrison. p. 112-113

Thus we hear about one of the early presidents of the Missouri Synod from the newly elected  (heartfelt congratulations and prayers).

I have been struck by the same thought.  Wyneken and any church Germans would have known so many wonderful hymns by heart, that the soul can strike them up any time.  Here people don't even own a hymnbook, never mind take it anywhere, or even sing on the spot.  It is a cultural blemish of big consequences and a huge loss.

Personally, after all this time, I can still not really accustom myself to English translations.  But there are also wonderful hymns originally written in English.

The songs that get sung are the one on Shine FM, during car rides, which are also sung in "contemporary" services in what some call pop-evangelicalism, or something like that.  Personally to me, a song is a song, if it has substance.  I don't even care if it has a beat, never mind Clement.  I don't even mind drums and garage bands.  But it must be theologically correct and biblical, and excellent, if we are going to sing it over and over and teach it to our young folk.  This stuff stays with them.  So there does need to be something like an approved collection of songs.  I have also agitated for a kind of Lutheran hymn syllabus.  Which songs should children learn in each year of their life.

Let's have a set of books and recordings that can be used in home and church, specifically to inculcate these hymns, since most children don't go to Lutheran school, and we are not even sure what gets sung there.  Then when we are adults we have a set of hymns we can all sing together, anywhere.  A kind of Lutheran minimum.  Something beyond Christmas carols.  Those are the only hymns everyone can sing and that are sung somewhere other than in churches, it seems to me.
Lately, I've been singing with someone over the telephone.  Nutty--eh?  We take turns choosing hymns and sing them for each other or together.  The last one was "I am Jesus little lamb", I think.  The next one I want is "Jesus priceless treasure".  This made me think of singing some for my husband.  He chose:  "Be still my soul."  So we are working on singing some places other than in church and doing that with hymns from the hymnbook. It seems so outrageously counter-cultural.  What rebels we are.

Lost my book

The Internet is working again, even quite reliably,  but I lost the book I was reading "Heaven on Earth" by Just.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Internet not working

My internet is not working, except at the moment, 4:54 AM.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What is faith?

With these words, "Abraham believed God,"  Paul shows us that faith in God is the highest worship, the greatest allegiance, the ultimate obedience,and the most pleasing sacrifice.  Whoever has a way with words should expand on this topic.  That person will discover that faith is all-powerful.  Its power is immeasurable and infinite.  Faith gives God the greatest honor anyone can give him.  Giving God honor is believing him, considering him truthful, wise, righteous, merciful, and all-powerful.  In short, it's recognizing that he is the Creator and Giver of every good thing.  Reason doesn't do this, only faith does.

Faith makes God real to us and real in us. Without faith, God's honor, glory, wisdom, righteousness, truth, and mercy cannot be in us.  Where there is no faith, God has no majesty and divinity.  God doesn't require anything more form us that to acknowledge his divinity and give him the glory and honor he deserves.  We shouldn't think of him as an idol but as God--the God who accepts us and hears us, who is merciful to us, and who stands by us.  When we honor God, his divinity remains complete and intact--he has everything that a believing heart can give him.  When we honor God in this way, we are showing the greatest wisdom, the highest justice, and the best worship, while offering the most pleasing sacrifice. (26:226)

The question about faith comes up again and again.  Faith is completely inspired by the object of faith, and thus no work.  Yet, it is something in us, part of us.  Faith grows through the means of grace, where we are presented with all the teachings and gifts of God.  But in essence faith is about God.  When we say the creed:  "I believe..." it is all about who God is, what he does and has done.  Nothing in the creed is about me, except that he also saved me. He is the God who "accepts us and hears us, who is merciful to us, and who stands by us." 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Remember/ Wittenberg Confessions

Read the excellent review.  I have to remember to get a copy of this book.  Larry of "The Sacrament is the Gospel"  contributed to it.  Or does someone have it to borrow?

This is where you buy it:

This is where Jim Piece talks about it:

Monday, August 9, 2010

"Closed Communion"

Here is a quote from "Heaven on Earth.  The Gifts of Christ in the Divine Service." by Arthur Just.

After the Gospel reading came the sermon.  The preaching could go on indefinitely, probably for a minimum of an hour.  The sermon was a commentary on the gospel first, and then a full biblical exposition on everything that was read.  Thus the Word service could last two hours or longer.  The congregation would participate and react more than we do, e.g., beating breasts when they heard the Law and crying out with joy when they heard the Gospel.

At the conclusion of the Word service there was the Prayer of Dismissal (in later centuries called the "prayer of the Faithful").  The purpose of this prayer was to dismiss certain categories of people from the Word Service who were not worthy to enter the holy presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper.  The word mass came from the word Dis-Miss-al.  This prayer form was a distinct part of the liturgy until medieval times.  It would include prayer for the catechumens, the penitents, and for those who had confessed publicly a doctrine contrary to the teaching of the Church.  After the dismissal of all but the baptized, the doors of the church would be closed.  This is the origin of what we now call "closed communion."  Even now in the Eastern church at this point in the liturgy the deacon cries out "the doors, the doors,"  a remnant of this ancient practice preserved in the eastern liturgy.  By this practice of dismissing those who are not worthy to receive the Lord's body and blood, one can see that the core value of holiness from the biblical culture of Jesus and the apostles is still in force among the early Christians.  They took very seriously the bodily presence of Christ in the Lord's Supper, as well as following the Lord's instructions to the apostles in Luke 22.

When all had been dismissed and only the faithful remained, they would exchange the kiss of peace.  This would be a full kiss on the mouth--men to men and women to women--a sign of the reconciliation that existed among the members of the community before they came to the Eucharist.  Only the baptized who were in complete fellowship with one another were capable of exchanging this kiss.  This was not a cultural phenomenon, for even in this culture this would have seemed unusual, but the Gospel gave them the freedom to do this.    p. 204

There are a number of interesting points here for me.

First of all we note that the sermon would go on for an hour with proper exposition of the read texts.  Try and get that anywhere these days.  Of course, the pastors would say that the people would balk.  I don't know.  Let them try and do a good job and see what the people will say.  In my youth we would go back to church in the evening and listen to a talk going right through the Bible with the pastor talking for a whole hour.  It has been done in recent memory and I am not that old.

Secondly, people were more emotionally expressive.  Lutherans being know as the "frozen chosen" and thinking that being solemn  is being properly sanctified and serious, maybe could be a little more accepting.  I have a video examining the history of black Gospel music, and it contains a statement explaining that simply standing and sitting down and being serious could  be described as worship, was impossible to understand for anyone in the black church.  Interesting, anyhow.  These are cultural things.  Maybe this is why the confessional Lutheran movement seems to have no blacks in it (anyhow that what it looks like looking at pictures on the Wittenberg Trail).  I have never beaten my breast or whooped out loud.  I would not know how to get started.  I do better with  Paul Gerhard hymns, myself.  Really, though, they are full of emotion, also.  With Lutherans you wonder, though, if they have listened at all.  It is all to holy to even talk about.  Of course, they have listened but they could make it a little more obvious.

Thirdly, this dismissal before the "closed communion" is very interesting to me.  I have worshiped in one place where this was the practice.  This was in my mother's town where we lived for one year before coming to Canada.  The communion was after the regular service.  I am thinking about this in the light of the desire of many to have communion in every Sunday.  I have not yet belonged to a congregation where this is the practice.  It certainly would be welcome.  But I do wonder about this:  listening to Issues, etc. I have heard it bemoaned that the church growth practice of recommending having less communion in the service for the sake of novices and visitors is a terrible thing to say.

I can empathize with this church growth sentiment.  I have experienced this very uncomfortable feeling of being in a strange congregation and thinking I should not commune, whereas the people I am with think I should, and surely, I would like to...  etc., etc.  It kind of ruins the whole service for me. (There are a number of possible scenarios.)

From these last several observations, I am thinking that communion, if it will be closed, as it should be, then for hospitality's sake, it should be after a dismissal.  ???  YES, NO?

Fourthly, there is this kiss of peace on the mouth.  I do not think we will be instituting this ever again.  But hugs are nice.  I've been to a little Anglican church, actually the one in my town, here, where all the people exchange peace and hugs with everyone else there.   It was quite a mingling in the tiny isle.  They all hugged me, too, and, of course, urged me to go to communion, which I, alas, could not/ would not.  Anglicans even have communed dogs, I read the other day.  It must be embarrassing to most of them. 

Here is a picture of the little Anglican church in my town.  It is historic and the people are great, and the liturgy is great and the sermon was great, too, when I went.  You can look straight at it when you have a coffee at the Mac's store.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

More summer, 19 months after.

It's tough to blog in the summer because the internet is very spotty.  It must have something to do with the volume of use while kids are out of school.  The best hours are early morning.  After 10:00 AM you can forget it.  It might work for a few minutes and then it's gone again.

Secondly, my husband has put me to much slave labor:  painting, digging, moving rocks, gravel, mulch, planting flowers, bushes and a tree.  I got an Amur cherry from the nursery, transported it and dug the hole and planted it--all by myself.  Sadly, the root ball kind of fell apart when the thing came out of the pot.  The contents was sopping wet.  So far the tree looks like it is still living.  I had split perennials earlier in the spring which have been growing in the vegetable garden.  They are now going out to the new garden.

My husband says it's not "slave" labor, since I also own the place.  OK, then it's "wife" labor, I guess.  I am doing it with more gratitude since speaking with someone, who herself is too ill to do yard work but would love to do it.

I can feel my sore muscles every day which is great, they must be getting stronger.  I am not even listening to Issues.etc  on the pod player anymore during this slave labor.-- This is another good sign.  I can go for a stretch of manual labor without cognitive stimulation and not start getting upset.  This is an accomplishment and a blessing after bereavement.  I don't know if others would understand that.  After the wedding, too, the outlook on life is a little different, a little brighter and lighter.  And I am moving to a new house.

And we have started riding our bicycles.  Stefan had got me out buying myself a decent bike some time before he died, along with gloves and jacket and all things  TOTALLY necessary by his standards (which is many more than I would have thought).  Every time he went with me, there were, of course, other things he also needed in addition to what he already had.  So I am well equipped, only I haven't yet put the wheel on by myself.  Stefan was always very chivalrous when he took me biking.  He took the lead and showed me what to do.  He fiddled with my bike.  It was great fun except he was miles ahead of me in seconds and gone.  I have ridden through the forest where I usually walk, bumps and uphill and downhill and all. I have figured that this is a nice way to remember him without getting upset.  You can't really cry while you're whizzing through the landscape with the breeze in your face.  Try it, it can't be done.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Outing with kids--Jurassic Forest

Someone asked about the new dinosaur  park in the neighborhood.  Here are the pictures from the local paper.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


What are we reading this summer?  We sailed through a book "G.K. Chesterton, Essential Writings".   He was fun.  There is another book, which is taking time.  I find I can only handle 5 pages at a time or so.  This is alright:  less reading more thinking, more enjoying favorable weather.  This books is "Heaven on Earth /  the Gifts of Christ in the Divine Service" by Arthur A. Just, Jr.

Just a sample.  Something I was reading  in "Heaven on Earth" , yesterday, and it dovetails with "Christ have mercy".


In the ancient world, the king would sometimes visit a village or city.  Anticipating his coming, villagers would line the road waiting for him to appear, and as he entered the city they would cry,  "Lord, have mercy!"  amid their shouts, one could also hear petitions from he crowd for gifts that reflected the king's mercy, such as food, protection, lower taxes, and always and most important, peace.  Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem is an excellent example of this.  In the Eastern Church, Christians adopted the practice of petitioning for gifts with cries of mercy as the clergy entered the church during the procession to the altar at the beginning of the service.  This secular practice was adopted for their King--the King of the Universe--for He was coming to them in His Word to bring the gifts of His presence:  "The Kyrie is not another confession of sins, but a prayer for grace and help in time of need--'the ardent cry of the Church for assistance.'"

The cry for mercy is biblical, particularly for those seeking the release from bondage that only Jesus the King can give.  It is the cry of the ten lepers, who seeing Jesus and knowing He can heal, cry out, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us"  (Luke 17:13).  It is the cry of a blind beggar at the gate of Jericho, who, on hearing that "Jesus of Nazareth  is passing by," cries, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"  (Luke 18: 37-38).  This petition for mercy has been explained in this way:

[It is] the most comprehensive and most expressive of all prayers.... To beg God's mercy is to ask for the coming of His kingdom which Christ promised to give to those who seek it, assuring them that all other things will be added (Matthew 6:33).  Because of this, it is a perfect example of a universal petition.

The Kyrie is the acknowledgment of gifts to be received with eager thankfulness and praise because the King is coming in His Word.  the most ancient form of the Kyrie was the simple acclamation  "Lord, have mercy,"  but early on it took the form of a litany similar to the one in many contemporary Lutheran service books.

In peace let us pray to the Lord.  Lord, have mercy.

For the peace from above and for our salivation let us pray to the Lord.  Lord, have mercy.

For the peace of the whole world, for the well-being of the Church of God, and for the unity of all let us pray to the Lord.  Lord, have mercy.

For this holy house and for all who offer here their worship and praise, let us pray to the Lord.  Lord, have mercy.

Help, save, comfort, and defend us, gracious Lord.

The cry for mercy in the Kyrie is a cry for peace.  The entire Kyrie is prayed  "in peace,"  and two of the first three petitions are for "peace from above"  and for "the peace of the whole world."  The petition for "peace from above"  acknowledges that peace came from heaven to earth through the incarnation of Jesus Christ and petitions the Lord to continue to be present among us in our worship.  The invasion of peace from above is why we petition for "the peace of the whole world"--a peace realized in salvation, the well-being of the Church of God, the unity of all, a peace for this holy house and for all who worship here.  Peace is the condition of "wholeness and well-being"  that now exists on earth and in heaven because of the incarnation and atoning death of Jesus, a theme echoed in the opening verse of the Gloria in Excelsis from Luke's Gospel.

Peace is also the new greeting of the Church of the new Testament that provided the foundation for the post-Pentecost Church in mission.  Jesus sent the seventy out to greet households in peace, and his first greeting to the eleven after the resurrection was the greeting of peace as He ate roasted fish before them (Luke 24:36).  Peace and hospitality at the table go hand in hand in the mission of Jesus and His disciples.  God's mercy is expressed at the table of His son through forgiveness offered and received, the very mercy and forgiveness that Jesus showed to sinners as He went from house to house with the greeting of peace.  The petitions conclude with a list describing the essence of our cry for God's mercy:  "help, save, comfort, and defend us, gracious Lord."  And so the divine Service as table fellowship with Jesus begins in peace as the people cry for mercy in the Kyrie.
 p, 189, 190.

Somehow, this is enough to ponder for one day.

Peace of the Lord to you and me, today, in his mercy.  Amen.

Monday, August 2, 2010


"For if I should see heaven standing open and could merit it by picking up a straw, I would not do it, lest I might say: Behold, I have earned it! No, no, not to my deservings, but to God be the glory, who has given me his Son to abolish sin and hell for me."

Luther from Cyberbretheren .

Love it.  For Nick, if he's still here, with love.