Thursday, December 15, 2016

Sin Against the Holy Spirit--not believing that Christ has made you clean and is now your brother

Luther in an Easter Sermon:

Therefore, I will say:  "I know very well that I am an unworthy man, worthy to be the devil's brother (not Christ's or His saints').  But now Christ has said that I (as the one for whom He died and rose again, as well as for St. Peter, who was a sinner like me) am His brother, and in all sincerity He wants me to believe Him without any doubting and wavering.  He does not want me to consider or pay attention to the fact that I am unworthy and full of sin."

He Himself does not consider or remember, as He justly could do;  He has sufficient cause to take revenge and punish His disciples for what they have merited from Him.  Rather, everything is forgotten and blotted out of the heart (Isa. 44:22; Acts 3:19)--indeed, put to death, covered, and buried.  

Now He can say nothing about them except everything delightful and good.  He greets them and speaks with them as kindly as with His faithful, dearest friends and good children, as if they had done nothing wrong and had not troubled the water, but had done everything good for Him, so that they have no worry or care in their hearts that He would remember it and reproach them or take revenge on them.

Because He does not want to know about that, but has it put to death and covered up, why would I not let that be true and thank, praise, and love my dear Lord from my heart that He is so gracious and merciful?  Even though I am burdened with sins, I still should not go ahead and all these kind words which I hear about Him a lie and arrogantly cast away the brotherhood He has offered,.  If I do not believe it, that is not good for me, but there is not for that reason anything false or lacking in Him. 

If anyone now wants to burden himself with new sins and not let what He has forgotten be forgotten, He certainly will be sinning in a way which can no longer be forgotten or be helped.  The Epistle to the Hebrews speaks about those who fell into sin by falling away from God's Word and calling it lies (Hebrews 6[:6]; 10 [:26]).  This is called the sin against the Holy Spirit, which means holding the Son of God up to contempt, trampling Him underfoot, and profaning the Spirit of grace.  May God preserve from this all who want to be Christians!

Unfortunately, there is too much of the former blindness and folly in which we have previously tarried, which ought now be gone and forgotten, since we have been made His brothers, if we will only accept it.  If we cannot believe as strongly as we ought, then we should begin (like young children) to suck up at least a little spoonful of this milk (1 Peter 2:2) and not at all push it away from us until we become stronger.  

(Luther's Works.  American Edition.  Church Postil III, pp. 30-31)

Friday, December 2, 2016

Post-American Election / Silver hair / Presence

Really, who would have wanted to add to the clamor that the US election was and still is. It is good enough to have stayed silent on the matter.  I am comforted that some of the facts of life are being stated clearly now, having been obviously repressed before by those who consider themselves above speaking straight.  I have learned a thing or two about deceit, malice and guile, in media and in my own communications, and feel that somehow by engaging I have done the thing of the fall of the garden of Eden.  I have come to know good and Evil.  It can't be undone.

There are just two insights I wanted to jot down before I forget.  One has to do with letting your hair go grey, or "au natural" or "silver".  Mine actually is silver under the layers of brown color.  Once upon a time my hair was dark brown, for real.  Once a upon a time.--It only takes an hour to color your hair but it takes months to get the color to go and still have hair. It is a journey, and maybe I will write about it next time.  One person who inspired me was Christine Lagarde, Manager of the International Monetary Fund.  She is the most high profile woman I have seen pictures of that wears her silver extremely well.  I can live with that.  You need something pretty on your ears, and other bling (but not too much) and the right amount of make-up (not too much, but definite), and an up-to-date hair-cut.  I am working on it.  Yesterday, I was offered the Senior's Discount.

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The second thing on my mind is, before I forget, is how people say "I so very much want to live in the moment."  And other people say:  "I am walking with the Lord."  And then others ridicule: "People live with their imaginary friends."  And others say:  "I am always craving intimacy".  And then there is the Christian greeting:  "The Lord be with you", and "And also with you."  And then some people like to talk about a "presence".  And some say:  "May the Force be with you."   And then others talk about their muse and their daimon.  The daimon does not sound very good, and to be honest, the people who have talked about their daimon, have also been the deceptive ones.

There I have noted it down, but that's all the time for right now.