Marking Time is Making Time

As Advent approaches, this article from The Lutheran Witness serves as a great explanation of why we observe the liturgical year:

We celebrate the Church Year in part as a celebration of time. Time is God’s gift, and God’s creation sets the rhythms that make time possible. The Church Year is a way of marking time and making time. It is a way of telling time and keeping time. And what is it that we mark and make and tell and keep?

We mark the events of God acting in world history and in our own personal history. We make a place to gather together, to remember and give thanks for what God has done for us. We tell the story of how God is working in our midst. And we keep the vigil for what God will yet do among His people.

The Church Year is for all these things. It is for telling the story of how a God beyond time acts within time to save and restore life. It uses the months and seasons of the calendar to tell the story. Or rather, it tells the story in the seasons of the year and our own lives.

via The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod – The Lutheran Witness.

What is Michaelmas?

From The Lutheran Witness

What is Michaelmas?

In the Western church, St. Michael and All Angels has been celebrated since the 12th century. At the time of the Reformation, the Lutherans revised the celebration of former holidays and saint days in order to give greater prominence to the work of Jesus. St. Michael and All Angels was retained in the Lutheran liturgical calendar because it was seen as a principal feast about Christ. In fact, Philip Melanchthon, a colleague of Dr. Martin Luther, even wrote a hymn about St. Michael and All Angels (LSB 522, “Lord God, To Thee We Give All Praise”).

At first, this might strike us as strange. How is a feast named after an archangel about Jesus? But as with all commemorations within the Lutheran Church, the focus is not on the person but held in grateful thanksgiving to our Lord for using this person (or His holy angels) to give glory to His name and to bring about salvation for His people. The event celebrated on the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels is thus impor­tant both in regard to our salvation and to the comfort it brings the Christian conscience.

via The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod – The Lutheran Witness.

Lutheran Witless

While I was waiting for my older two children and husband to get out of Sunday school this last Sunday (read: I was trapped in the cry room with the younger two because they’re not old enough for Sunday school, and that hour with a bunch of different toys is a huge treat for them), I skimmed through the past two issues of our synodical publication, The Lutheran Witness.  After reading through the letters to the editor, I am totally convinced of the complete idiocy of some of the members of our church body.

Here is what I learned, in just those two issues.  Christians are responsible for the moral decline of America (primarily promiscuity and homosexuality) because they moved out of the cities and into suburbs, and because they pulled their children from public schools and enrolled them in parochial institutions (I bet that person would love the fact that we’re homeschooling!).  The ESV is a horrible translation, because one person doesn’t like the “way it sounds” in comparison to the NIV.  Oh, and some stick in the mud got all up in arms over what I guess was an advertisement (I didn’t get to see the original photo in context) with a picture of four older women in completely modest bathing suits at the beach (I hope that person at least isn’t a total hypocrite, and gets equally incensed upon seeing advertising in the secular realm featuring young women in skimpy bikinis!).

Here are my feelings on the above.  I’m grateful to live in the suburbs, because I can’t imagine being cramped in a crowded city with four small children, and having to deal with public transit to boot.  And I’m not so naive to think that bad morals don’t exist here, so I will assume that even if people hadn’t flocked to suburbia from the cities of America, the moral decay would still have occurred.  And, as a homeschooling parent, I am also grateful that I don’t have to send my children to public school (although I am grateful for the option, especially when it comes to Moose getting the extra help he needs from the school system), because they would not be adequately challenged in that environment, and they wouldn’t be learning about Jesus as much as they are now, which is, according to them, the best part of the school day.

I love the ESV, and in my somewhat limited understanding of such things, think it’s the best translation out there.  I can’t wait until the Concordia Study Bible finally comes out in that translation (can I just say that I think CPH totally dropped the ball on that one–they should have made sure their new Bible came out before, or at least with, the Crossway edition), and I’ll probably get the Crossway one in the meanwhile. And one of my pet peeves is people who pick and choose Bible translations based on what they think sounds pretty, or worse yet, which one says what they want it to say.  I’d rather stick with one good translation and use it for everything (which is why I’ve tweaked our weekly memory verses to all be ESV).

As for the bathing suit thing…I don’t know why the picture was in there, or if it was appropriate for the magazine or not. I do know for certain that I’d rather see modest pictures of women at any age genuinely enjoying themselves and their lives, than fake pictures of women who are trying too hard to impress, and who are dressed completely inappropriately and sending horrible messages about body image and sexuality to my daughters.