Friday, April 28, 2006

What Does This Mean?

Today my wife called me a honky.

I'm perplexed as to what she meant by that. Any ideas?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Feeling Confident?

I think I know how to wipe that smile off your smug face and turn you in to a weeping, shattered shell of a human being. In fact, we should ship you to Africa on the Cannibal Cruise Lines.

If you can get above 80% correct or average less than 199 miles a miss on level 3 on this puzzle, you're a better man than me. Even if you're a woman.

Remember. Be precise.

Hat tip to Caffeine and Irony.

And for more geography fun:
United States.

How I Feel On A Beautiful Spring Day

It's time for another haiku, inspired by this lovely spring.

And, brought to you by the good folks at Kimberly-Clark:

"These beautiful trees
Make me violently sneeze.
Spare me a Kleenex?"

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Random Thoughts On A Beautiful Spring Day

- There would have been no Beatlemania if one of the fab four were named Larry. I'm sorry if your name's Larry. But it's true. Think about it for a second. John, Paul, George, and Ringo has a certain panache. Larry doesn't figure in with any combination of the other 3. Maybe it's because it is forever a Stooge name.

- Have you ever been stopped at a light and been so distracted you didn't notice the light turned green? Sure you have. But I have the perfect solution, if I can convince some city government to implement my plans. Ready? Starter's pistols that go off when the light turns green.

- Why do women call their little parties "showers"? Strike that. I don't want to know.

- When whoever it was was trying to invent the first set of drums, did their first prototype have the drummer trying to strike the stick with the drum?

- When there is only one castaway alive from the Gilligan's Island cast, will that person be declared the victor, a la Survivor? We're down to the Professor, Ginger, and Mary Ann. Is it in bad taste to have a "pool" about such things?

- Who figured out you could "pop" corn? What, did someone stand around all day putting different kinds of vegetable seeds in hot pans to see what would happen?

- Why do we have vegetable soups, but no fruit soups? Cream of Banana sounds okay to me.

- By the same token, why only fruit smoothies yet no vegetable smoothies? It's like we have all decided as a race of people that fruit must be served cold and vegetables hot. I mean, I know a green onion smoothie doesn't sound the best, but how do we know what it would taste like? Has anyone tried it? Come on, we can be more creative than this.

- At the start of a divine service, I noticed the front pews in the center aisle and in the north aisle were not occupied. Since our pew would not be empty if we left it, I suggested that one of us move to the front pew on the north and the other move to the front pew in the center. I cannot stand it when the front pews are empty. My wife looked at me like I was crazy. Or something.

- How can yogurt and cottage cheese go bad? Aren't they half decayed already?

- How do you eat a danish with jelly in the center? Do you plow through it like Grant through Richmond, or do you carefully consider your jelly distribution with each bite, eating it in a circular motion so that each piece has the same amount of jelly? And what about jelly donuts?

- The Biblical books of Jude and Philemon I believe don't get the respect they deserve because they have only one chapter. So I propose that instead of verses, each numeric division in these books represent an entire chapter. Voila, Jude now has 25 chapters and Philemon 25. There, you think more of them now, don't you?

- Is Albert Pujols real or a figment of all of our imaginations? I propose the latter, because no one could be that good.

- Turkey should be served cold. The flavor is much better. The warm stuff can be banned as far as I'm concerned.

- Who gets to decide the news? Someone is deciding what the news is. It's all the same on all the channels. How could that be otherwise?

- My family's homemade ice cream recipe calls for eggs. It's great stuff. It's my grandma's recipe. But when I tried making it, it didn't turn out too well. I improvised with deviled eggs. However, I couldn't get them to mix well in the ice cream. It didn't taste the same. And it tasted funny.

- If eating plants/vegetables and grains is so good for you, how come cows have so much fat in them?

- If men can be convinced to wear mullets, then I'm sure they'll go for what I call the lateral mullet. Grow the hair short in front and back, and let it grow long on the sides over the ears and also the side burns. Although it would probably look quite canine.

- If we have to have sequels to movies, then how come we don't have sequels to songs? I would have loved to have heard the sequel to "The Streak" by Ray Stevens. Who wouldn't? We only have a couple I remember- The Snoopy and Red Baron songs and the Purple People Eater songs.

- And finally, does anyone else look at the new Mission: Impossible preview clips now being shown and think to themselves, "Tom Cruise is a crazy man, I can't watch that". I don't think I'll ever be able to watch his movies again.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Theme Song Part 2

Candidate #2:
"Scottius Maximus, Superhero"- Words by Scottius Maximus. Sing to the music of "You Don't Mess Around With Jim" by Jim Croce, to whose family I send my apology.

"Mars has got it's monsters
Venus- aliens.
Who's gonna stop their loathsome, evil mirth
When they set their sights on Earth?
They're as big and strong as ETs come
But they're just not what you'd call bright
Even so they attacked while America napped,
And they conquered Earth at night.

And they say
'You don't tug on Superman's cape
You don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger
And you don't mess around with martians.

Well outta central Illinois there came a country boy
He said, 'I'm lookin' for aliens
I am an ape, call me thus:
Scottius Maximus.
But down home they call me 'The Chimp'.
Yeah I'm looking for the heads of Mars and Venus
They'll be drivin' a drop top Cadillac
Last week they conquered this planet
Like the Germans took France and
Now I've come to take the whole Earth back'
And ev'rybody say 'Jack, don't you know that
You don't tug on Superman's cape
You don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger
And you don't mess around with martians.'

Well a hush fell over the whole earth-
When those monsters and the chimp did meet.
And when the cuttin' was done
Their only parts that weren't bloody
Were the soles of those alien's feet.
Yeah they were cut in 'bout a hundred places
And they were shot in a couple more
And you better believe
They sung a different kind of story
When those aliens hit the floor
Now they say
'You don't tug on Superman's cape
You don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger
And you don't mess around with the chimp.'

Yeah, those aliens got beat back
Found out where it's at
Not attacking people strange to you
Even if Earthings have deserved it a time or two, yeah

You don't tug on Superman's cape
You don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger
And you don't mess around with chimp."

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I Knew There Was A Reason I Like Gardens

Mr. Vieth at Cranach had an interesting post about them last week:

"The Garden

Luther says, "Because our sin began in the garden, the Passion also begins in the garden." Holy Week and Easter Sermons. I would add, both our sin and Christ's Passion also END in a garden."

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Pictures...Lots And Lots Of 'Em

Since I missed posting the opening of the new Busch Stadium due to Holy Week, here are some photos. But why, why, why, why, did they even bother opening a stadium that wasn't yet finished? The left field upper deck is not open yet because the "facilities" (if you get my drift) aren't done. How poor of planning was that? It should be an embarrassment to the powers that be. Hat tips to Redbird Central, The Birdwatch, and my old friends at KMOV for the photos.

Anyway, the stadium is beautiful and will be "complete" soon enough. Enjoy.

Good question.

These people had to stand and wait awhile to get in- in fact, they started gathering at the end of last season. Hey, why wait till the last minute?

The dreaded gray Cardinals flew over head.

A nice touch- the Clydesdales were invited. Good thing, too- in St. Louis, to snub the Clydesdales is akin to snubbing the Queen.

My kind of seats- FREE! These people are watching the game through the fence outside of left field.

Prisoners watching from the county jail...or parking garage, I'm not sure.

On to the game...

The Cardinals take the field.

The very first pitch from Mark Mulder.

Oh, it was a scene, man. The field looks so good it hardly looks real. But the left field upper deck,...the left field upper deck needs to be finished soon.

The stadium has a nice retro look.

1946 or 2006? And, gloriosky, what are the odds of everyone wearing red the same day to the ballpark? It's almost hard to believe it's a coincidence.

I like how the video board allows one to order more beer!

Night time view of the Southwest corner (homeplate corner).

Night time view of the 3rd base entrance, the main entrance to the stadium. Stan Musial stands guard.

I'm thrilled. Spectacular is a good description of the new stadium. And I know it's a good description of the young Pujols. Just where his statue will go remains to be seen.

Some Post-Holy Week Nonsense

In my quest to be America's newest superhero, I have "composed" some new songs. Only one can serve as my superhero "theme song". The fact they took me a long time to compose is a testament to my lameness. But since I don't shy from embarrassing myself, here is my first rendition, in all its defective splendor.

"Scottius Maximus, Superhero"- Words by Scottius Maximus.
Sing to the music of "Revolution" by the Beatles, who have my deepest apologies.

(Scream- AAAAAAAAH!)
You say you want a superhero?
Well, you know...
Just someone to save the Earth.
Protect the world from all the "weirdos"
'Cause, you know
Someone's got to save the world.
When we're talkin' 'bout our destruction
Scottius Maximus will come to help us out.
And you'll know it's gonna be...all right...all right...all right.

You say an ape's no superhero
Well, you know
He just wants to save the world.
You tell me he's a big fat "zero"
Well, you know
'Cause flying always causes him to hurl.
If Scottius Maximus isn't your kind of ape
All I can tell you is, brother, he's got a cape.
Don't you know he'll make everything- all right, all right, all right

Ah ah, ah, ah, ah, ah...

Just call him any time you need him
Well, you know
As long as it's not on the weekend.
And don't call him during a Cardinals' game
Well, you know.
He'll start kicking A and taking names.
And you'll all be chanting "Scottius Maximus"
For saving America- and not even charging us.
Don't you know it's gonna be all right... all right... all right... all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right, all right-ALL RIGHT!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Bob And Ray

On the Flip Wilson Show a couple of weeks ago on TV Land, the guest stars turned out to be the comedy team of Bob and Ray. As a youngster, I must admit to not liking Bob and Ray. I didn't "get" them.

Mainly because their humor was over my head. Their's was the dryest, most deadpan humor ever performed. Sometimes incredibly subtle, they usually peformed a 3 to 5 minute farcical skit, playing it with incredible sincerity. As I grew older I came to the realization of just how funny they were.

Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding were comedy geniuses (geniui?). Of course Bob is the father of former Scottius Maximus Celebrity of the Month Chris Elliott.

The Official Bob and Ray Website has many samplings of their humor. My personal favorite, The Kimodo Dragon, is here (Windows Media Player).

Monday, April 17, 2006

Life Imitating The Movies

I first posted this last year, but it remains appropriate. Thanks to Redbird Central and The Birdwatch for the photos.

Albert Pujols- The Natural.

"Pop Fisher (Tony LaRussa): You know my mama wanted me to be a farmer.
Roy Hobbs (Albert Pujols): My dad wanted me to be a baseball player.
Pop Fisher (LaRussa): Well you're better than any player I ever had. And you're the best damn hitter I ever saw. Suit up."
- The Natural

And here's to Jason Marquis for getting on base in the bottom of the 9th to set it all up.

...And This

You Are a Lazy Cook

Technically, you're a cook... in that you do cook the occasional frozen burrito in the microwave.
Get a little adventurous. Sprinkle some fresh cheese on that frozen pizza next time!

I Can Live With This

Mostly Hobbes

You are 30% Calvin and 70% Hobbes
You've got elements of both Calvin and Hobbes, but over all, your sensible side wins out over your wild streak, and you tend toward the tiger. As the picture below indicates, the head is the first place that people usually turn to the darkside (i.e. Calvin): symptoms include irresponsible behavior and crazy ideas. You're liable to both. But beneath that you have a heart, a sensitive side, and this more often than not carries the day.

My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 23% on calvin

free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 58% on hobbes
Link: The Calvin Or Hobbes Test written by gwendolynbooks on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Hat Tip Katie's Beer.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Resurrection Of Our Lord!

"Awake, My Heart, with Gladness

by Paul Gerhardt, 1607-1676

Text From:
THE LUTHERAN HYMNAL (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1941)

1. Awake, my heart, with gladness,
See what today is done,
Now after gloom and sadness

Comes forth the glorious Sun!

My Savior there was laid

Where our bed must be made

When to the realms of light
Our spirit wings its flight.

2. The Foe in triumph shouted

When Christ lay in the tomb,

But, lo, he now is routed,

His boast is turned to gloom.

For Christ again is free;

In glorious victory

He who is strong to save

Has triumphed o'er the grave.

3. This is a sight that gladdens;

What peace it doth impart!

Now nothing ever saddens

The joy within my heart;

No gloom shall ever shake,

No foe shall ever take,

The hope which God's own Son

In love for me hath won.

4. Now hell, its prince, the devil,

Of all their power are shorn;

Now I am safe from evil,

And sin I laugh to scorn.

Grim death with all his might

Cannot my soul affright;

He is a powerless form,

Howe'er he rave and storm.

5. The world against me rageth,

Its fury I disdain;

Though bitter war it wageth,

Its work is all in vain.

My heart from care is free,

No trouble troubles me.

Misfortune now is play,

And night is bright as day.

6. Now I will cling forever

To Christ, my Savior true;

My Lord will leave me never,

Whate'er He passes through.

He rends Death's iron chain,

He breaks through sin and pain,

He shatters hell's dark thrall,
I follow through it all.

7. To halls of heavenly splendor

With Him I penetrate;

And trouble ne'er may hinder

Nor make me hesitate.

Let tempests rage at will,

My Savior shields me still;

He grants abiding peace

And bids all tumult cease.

8. He brings me to the portal

That leads to bliss untold

Whereon this rime immortal

Is found in script of gold:

"Who there My cross hath shared

Finds here a crown prepared;

Who there with Me has died
Shall here be glorified." _______________________________________________
Hymn #192 from _The Lutheran Hymnal_ Text: Col. 2:15
Author: Paul Gerhardt
Translated by: John Kelly, 1867, alt. Titled: "Auf, auf, mein Herz, mit Freuden"
Composer: Johann Crueger, 1648
Tune: "Auf, auf, mein Herz" _______________________________________________________________
This text was converted to ascii format for Project Wittenberg
by Cindy A. Beesley and is in the public domain. You may freely distribute, copy or print this text. Please direct any comments or suggestions to:
Rev. Robert E. Smith of the Walther
Library at Concordia Theological Seminary.
E-mail: CFWLibrary@CRF.CUIS.EDU

Surface Mail: 6600 N. Clinton St.,Ft. Wayne, IN 46825
Phone: (219) 481-2123 Fax: (219) 481-2126 ______________________________________________________________"

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Holy Saturday

From the Lutheran Book Of Prayer, copyright 1970, Concordia Publishing House.

"Heavenly Father, we are silenced at the grave of Your Son. In justice You called for Him, who knew no sin, to be made sin for us. Yet You permitted Your Son to die in innocence. In love He came to us but He was rejected by hate. He taught us obedience but men rebelled against Him.

We confess that a great mystery confronts us as this tomb of sin and death. He was buried behind the great seal of our sin and our death. By faith we know also that He who died is the One who unlocked the great secret of Your love. His tomb is our tomb. He carried with Him to the grave our sin and our death that He might break their hold on us.

Trusting in our Lord's promise that He would rise again on the thrid day, we come not to mourn Him but to confess the sin that He would leave buried. Have mercy on us! Grant us the Easter faith that anticipates with joy the day on which You raised Him from the dead, so that in Him we too shall come forth from the tomb to live with Him in eternity. We pray in His name and for His sake.


Friday, April 14, 2006

Good Friday

"Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
By: Liturgy of St. James

Let all mortal flesh keep silence
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in his hand
Christ our God to earth descending
Comes our homage to demand.

King of kings yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth he stood,
Lord of lords in human vesture,
In the body and the blood,
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads it vanguard on the way
As the Light of Light, descending
From the realms of endless day,
Comes the powers of hell to vanquish
As the darkness clears away.

At his feet the six winged seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
"Alleluia, alleluia! Alleluia, Lord Most High!"

Hymn # 241 from Lutheran Worship
Author: French folk tune
Tune: Picardy
1st Published in: 17th cnet."

A Luther Classic

This has been posted elsewhere, but of course remains appropriate after almost 500 years.

"A revised translation by:

Paul T. McCain ,The First Sunday in LentFebruary 29, 2004

On April 5, 1519, Martin Luther sent a copy of his essay titled A Sermon Concerning Meditation on the Holy Sufferings of Christ to his friend George Spalatin. Within five years, it had been published in twenty-four editions. It was enormously popular. It was translated into Latin in 1521. Later, when Luther put together helps and sermons for preachers, it was included as the sermon for Good Friday in the Church Postil of 1525.

This translation is based on the English translation that appeared in a 1906 collection of Luther’s writings, titled Lutherans in All Lands. An alternate translation may be found in the American Edition of Luther’s Works, Volume 42, pgs. 7ff.The original edition of the text is found in the Weimar Ausgabe as Ein Sermon von der Betrachtung des heiligen Leidens Christi in WA 2:136-142.

Wrong Ways to Meditate on Christ’s Passion

Some people meditate on the Passion of Christ and become angry at the Jews. They sing and go on and on about Judas too. [1] They are just doing what they always do. They love to complain about other people. They spend all their time condemning their enemies. I guess this is a meditation of sorts, but not a meditation on the sufferings of Christ. It is just a meditation on the wickedness of the Jews and Judas.

Other people who like to talk about the benefit of meditating on Christ’s Passion miss the point. Something Albertus [2] said can be very misleading. He said that thinking about the Passion of Christ is better than fasting a whole year or praying through the Psalms every day. Some people blindly follow him, take his comment literally, and then act contrary to Christ’s passion. They are just looking out for their own interests, trying to get out of doing other things. They superstitiously decorate themselves with pictures and booklets, letters and crucifixes. Some of them even go so far as to imagine that by doing these things they are protecting themselves against drowning, burning, the sword, and all sorts of other dangers. [3] They try to use the sufferings of Christ to prevent any suffering from coming into their life, which is of course entirely contrary to how life really is.

Then there are the people who like to sympathize emotionally with Christ. They weep and wail over Him because He was so innocent. They are like the women who followed Christ from Jerusalem. He rebuked them! He told them that they should weep for themselves and their children. They run headlong into the Passion season thinking they are receiving great benefit by pondering deeply on things like how Jesus left Bethany, or the pains and sorrows suffered by the Virgin Mary. [4] They meditate on these things for hours and hours on end. But they never get any farther. Somehow they don’t reflect on Christ’s actual suffering and death. God only knows if they are doing this more to sleep than to watch and wait with Christ. [5]

People like this include fanatics who try to teach people that they receive a great blessing from simply attending the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, standing there and watching it being performed. They try to tell people that simply showing up and watching a Mass, automatically works blessings, by the very act of doing it. They would lead people to believe that the Lord’s Supper has nothing to do with faith in the promise of the Lord’s Supper, or being worthy to receive the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper was not instituted for its own sake, as if simply doing it was the point. It was given for the purpose of meditating on the Passion of Christ. If we don’t do this, we are turning the Lord’s Supper into a human work. We are making it a useless thing that we do, no matter how good it may be in and of itself. What use is it to you that God is God, if He is not God for you? What use is eating and drinking if they are not beneficial for you? We should be afraid of thinking that we will become better simply because we celebrate the Lord’s Supper a lot, while all the while failing to receive its true benefit.

The Right Way to Think About Christ’s Passion

When we meditate on the Passion of Christ the right way, we see Christ and are terrified at the sight. Our conscience sinks in despair. This feeling of terror needs to happen so that we fully realize how great the wrath of God is against sin and sinners. We understand this when we see how God sets sinners free only because His dearly beloved Son -- His only Son -- paid such a costly ransom for us, as Isaiah 53:8 says, “He was stricken for the transgressions of my people.”What happens to us when we see the dear Child of God struck down like this? We realize how inexpressible, even unbearable, is the Son’s total commitment to saving sinners. How else can we feel when we realize that a person so great as Christ went out to meet this fate, suffering and dying for sinners? If you truly and deeply reflect on the fact that God’s Son, the eternal Wisdom of God, suffers, you will be filled with terror. The more you reflect on it the deeper you will feel this way.

You should deeply believe, and never doubt, that in fact you are the one who killed Christ. Your sins did this to Him. St. Peter struck terror in the hearts of the Jews when he said in Acts 2:36-27: “You crucified Him!” Three thousand people were filled with terror. Trembling in fear they cried out to the Apostles, “Dear brothers, what should we do?” Therefore, when you look at the nails being driven through His hands, firmly believe that it is your work. Do you see His crown of thorns? Those thorns are your wicked thoughts.

Look! When one thorn pierces Christ, you need to know that more than a thousand should pierce you. They should pierce you for all eternity even more painfully than they ever pierced Christ. When you see nails driven through the hands and feet of Christ, know that you should be suffering this for all eternity, with even more painful nails. Everyone who looks on Christ’s sufferings and forgets about them, thinking they are of no worth, will suffer such a fate for all eternity. The Passion of Christ is a mirror of what is to come. This mirror is no lie and no joke. Whatever Jesus says will happen, completely.

Bernard [6] was so terrified by the sufferings of Christ that he said, “At one time I thought I was secure. I didn’t know a thing about the judgment that had been passed on me in heaven, until I saw that the eternal Son of God had mercy on me. I saw that He stepped forward and offered Himself on my behalf, receiving my judgment and taking my place. I can no longer feel so carelessly when I realize how serious the sufferings of Christ are.” This is why Jesus commanded the women, “Do not cry for me. Cry for yourselves and your children” (Luke 23:28).

It is as if Jesus is saying, “Learn from my death what you have earned and what you deserve to receive.” It is like a little dog is being killed in order to frighten a large dog. This is why the Prophet said, “All generations will lament and wail more than Him.” He doesn’t say they lament Him. They are lamenting for their own fate. This explains why the people were filled with terror in Acts 2:27, as I’ve already mentioned, and said to the Apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” The church sings, “I will ponder this diligently and then my soul will languish.” [7]

A person should carefully consider this point. The benefit of Christ’s sufferings depends entirely on a person coming to know himself well and being filled with terror to the point of death. If a person does not reach this point, the sufferings of Christ will really not benefit him. Christ’s sufferings naturally make all people alike. As Christ died horribly in his body and soul for our sins, so we must, like him, die in our own consciences because of our sin. This does not take place through a lot of words, but by means of deep thought and a profound realization of our sins. Let me illustrate my point. Let’s say an evil person kills the child of a prince or king without bothering you, and you continue singing and playing as if you were entirely innocent. Then you are arrested and convinced that you were the reason the child was killed. You would be horrified! Your conscience would strike you deeply. So, you should be even more upset when you consider the sufferings of Christ. The Jews who killed Christ, and have now been judged and banished by God, were merely the servants of your sins. You are truly the one who strangled and crucified the Son of God through your sins.

If anyone is so cold and unfeeling that he is not terrified when he views the sufferings of Christ, he should tremble with fear. You must become like the pictures of Christ’s sufferings. It can’t be otherwise. Either here in time or in hell for all eternity. At the moment of your death, if not sooner, you need to fall into terror, tremble and shake with fear, and experience all that Christ suffered on the cross. It is terrible to wait until you die to do this. Pray to God and ask Him to soften your heart now and so you can meditate fruitfully on Christ’s passion. It is impossible for us to meditate on the sufferings of Christ by our own ability or power. God must plant these sufferings into our heart. This meditation on Christ’s suffering, as with all doctrine from God, is not given to you so that you can go off and do your own thing with it. No, you should always first search for God’s grace and long for it. On your own, you can’t do anything. Everything depends on God’s grace. People who never view the sufferings of Christ correctly are the people who never call upon God and ask him to help them. Instead, they try to consider Christ’s suffering on their own and end up regarding Christ’s sufferings in a purely human and unfruitful way. Let me say this very clearly and openly for all to hear. Whoever meditates on Christ’s sufferings the right way for a day, an hour, even for fifteen minutes, is doing something far better than fasting for a whole year, praying all the Psalms every day, or listening to one hundred masses. The right kind of meditation on Christ’s suffering changes a person’s character. As in Baptism, a person is newly born again through such meditation. Then the sufferings of Christ are accomplishing their true, natural and noble work. They kill the Old Adam. They banish from us all lust, pleasure and security that we might think one of God’s creatures can give us, just like Christ was forsaken by all, even by God.

We need to realize that feeling born again is not something that is up to us. It may be that sometimes we will pray for it, but do not receive it just then. We should not despair, but keep on praying. At times it comes when we are not praying for it. God knows what we need. He will do what is best. It is free and unbound. It may be that when our consciences are causing us distress and we are deeply unhappy with our lives and what we have done we do not realize it, but the Passion of Christ is doing this to us. On the other hand, some people may think they are meditating on Christ’s Passion, but they become so caught up in thinking about themselves that they can’t work their way out of it. The first group are truly meditating on Christ’s Passion, others are just making a show of it and it is false.

The Comfort of Christ’s Suffering

Up to this point in our discussion, it is as if we have been in Passion Week and Good Friday. Now we come to Easter and Christ’s Resurrection. When a person, whose conscience has been filled with terror, understands his sins in this light, he needs to watch out that his sins do not remain in his conscience, for then nothing but pure doubt will result. Just as our sins flowed out of Christ and we became aware of them, so we should pour them back on Him again and set our conscience free. Make sure you do not bite and devour one another with sins in your heart, running here and there with your own good works, trying to make satisfaction for them, trying to work your way out of your sins by means of indulgences. It is impossible! Unfortunately, it is still the case that many people, far and wide, think they find a refuge in such satisfactions and pilgrimages.

Take your sins and throw them on Christ. Believe with a joyful spirit that your sins are His wounds and sufferings. He carries them and makes satisfaction for them, as Isaiah 53:6 says, “The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Peter says in 1 Peter 2:24, “He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree.” In 2 Corinthians 5:21 Paul says, “For our sake, He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” You must rely on these verses from the Bible with all your might, even more when your conscience tries to kill you. You’ll never find peace if you miss this opportunity to quiet your heart. You will have so much doubt that you will despair. If we dwell too much on our sins, going over and over them in our conscience, keeping them close to our hearts, soon they will become too much for us to manage and they will live forever. But when we see our sins laid on Christ and see Him triumph over them by His Resurrection, and fearlessly believe this, our sins are dead and become nothing. Our sins don’t stay on Christ, but are swallowed up by His resurrection. Now you see no wounds, no pain, no sight of sin at all in Him. That is why Paul says in Romans 4:25 that Jesus “was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.” In His sufferings Christ made our sins known and was crucified for them. By His resurrection He makes us righteous and frees from all sin. If you are not able to believe then pray to God for faith. This is entirely up to God. He gives faith at times very dramatically and openly, and at other times, secretly and quietly.

Therefore, here is what you need to do. First, stop looking at Christ’s sufferings any longer. They have already done their work and have terrified you. Press forward through all difficulties and see His friendly heart. Look how full of love God’s heart is for you. It was this love that moved Him to bear the heavy load of your conscience and sin. If you do this, your heart will be sweetly loving toward Him. The assurance of your faith will be stronger. Ascend higher through the heart of Christ to the heart of God and then you will see that Christ would not have been able to love you if God had not willed all this in His eternal love. Christ is obedient to this love, and so loves you. In the heart of God you will find a divine, good, fatherly heart. As Christ says, you will be drawn to the Father through Christ. Then you will understand what Christ meant when he said in John 3:16, “God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son.” This is how we know God as He wants us to know Him. We know Him not by His power and wisdom, which terrify us, but by His goodness and love. There our faith and confidence stand unmovable. This is how a person is truly born again in God.

When your heart is set on Christ, you are an enemy of sin, because of love, and not because you are afraid of being punished. Christ's sufferings should be an example for your whole life. You should meditate on them in a different way. To this point we have considered Christ’s Passion as a sacrament that works in us. Now we want to consider the sufferings of Christ in a different way, in a way that is something that works in us when we suffer. When the day comes that sickness and sorrow weigh you down, think how little it matters compared to the thorns and nails of Christ. If you have to do something you don’t want, or can’t do something you want to do, think about how Christ was led about by others, tied up as a prisoner. Does pride attack you? Look at how your Lord was mocked and disgraced along with murderers. Do sexually impure thoughts and lust come your way, thrusting themselves on you? Think how bitter it was for Christ to have his tender flesh torn, pierced and beaten, again and again. Are hatred and envy at war within you, or are you seeking vengeance? Remember how Christ prayed for you, and all of his enemies, with many tears and cries. He had more reason than you to seek revenge! If any trouble or adversity trouble your body or soul, take heart! Say, “Why shouldn’t I also not suffer a little since my Lord sweat blood in the Garden because of his anxiety and grief? I would be a lazy, disgraceful servant if all I want to do is lie in bed while my Lord is forced to do battle with a painful death.”

This is how you find strength in Christ and are comforted when you struggle with all kinds vice and bad habits. This is the right way to meditate on the Passion of Christ. This is the fruit of His suffering. That is why somebody who meditates on Christ’s passion, in this way, really is doing something better than hearing the whole Passion story read, or reading all sorts of Masses. People who make the life and name of Christ part of their own life are truly called Christians, as Paul says in Gal. 5:24: “Those who are in Christ have crucified the flesh with all its passions and lusts.” We need to meditate on Christ’s passion, not with lots of words or with a showy display, but put it to true use in our lives. Paul admonishes us in Hebrews 12:3, “Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.” Peter says in 1 Peter 4:1: “Since Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking.” But this kind of meditation on Christ’s passion is not used much. It is very rare, although the Epistles of Paul and Peter are filled with it. We have changed the essence of meditation on Christ’s Passion into a show, and simply painted meditation on Christ’s passion in letters and on walls.

To God Alone Be the Glory!

Notes:Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright @2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1. Luther is alluding to a medieval German hymn, Wretched Judas, What Have You Done?

2. Albert Magnus (1193-1280) was a Scholastic theologian, a teacher of the most famous of all such theologians, Thomas Aquinas.

3. Luther is referring to the practice in his day of carrying around all kinds of Christian “trinkets” in a superstitious way as good luck charms, intended to ward off all sorts of dangers.

4. Much was made in Luther’s Germany about Christ leaving the home of his friends and supporters, Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Veneration of Martha was widespread throughout Germany at this time.

5. Contemplations on all the events surrounding the actual crucifixion, such as meditating on Christ leaving Bethany, or on the suffering of the Virgin Mary to last up to five hours. Many times they would last even longer and people would fall asleep.

6. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), was a Cistercian monk, mystic and the founder of the Abbey of Clairvaux. He was held in high esteem by Luther, who often quotes him.

7. This could very well be from Bernard of Clairvaux hymn Salve Caput Cruentatem, later loosely paraphrased by the most famous of all Lutheran hymn writers, Paul Gerhardt in his hymn, O Sacred Head Now Wounded. "

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Maundy Thursday Preparation

Questions and answers for contemplation.

From Luther's Small Catechism:

"Christian Questions with Their Answers

Prepared by Dr. Martin Luther for those who intend to go to the Sacrament
[The "Christian Questions with Their Answers," designating Luther as the author, first appeared in an edition of the Small Catechism in 1551, five years after Luther's death].

After confession and instruction in the Ten Commandments, the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, the pastor may ask, or Christians may ask themselves these questions:
1. Do you believe that you are a sinner? Yes, I believe it. I am a sinner.
2. How do you know this? From the Ten Commandments, which I have not kept.
3. Are you sorry for your sins? Yes, I am sorry that I have sinned against God.
4. What have you deserved from God because of your sins? His wrath and displeasure, temporal death, and eternal damnation. See Romans 6:21, 23.
5. Do you hope to be saved? Yes, that is my hope.
6. In whom then do you trust? In my dear Lord Jesus Christ.
7. Who is Christ? The Son of God, true God and man.
8. How many Gods are there? Only one, but there are three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
9. What has Christ done for you that you trust in Him? He died for me and shed His blood for me on the cross for the forgiveness of sins.
10. Did the Father also die for you? He did not. The Father is God only, as is the Holy Spirit; but the Son is both true God and true man. He died for me and shed his blood for me.
11. How do you know this? From the holy Gospel, from the words instituting the Sacrament, and by His body and blood given me as a pledge in the Sacrament.
12. What are the Words of Institution? Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to the disciples and said: "Take eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me." In the same way also He took the cup after supper, and when He had given thanks, He gave it to them, saying: "Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."
13. Do you believe, then, that the true body and blood of Christ are in the Sacrament? Yes, I believe it.
14. What convinces you to believe this? The word of Christ: Take, eat, this is My body; drink of it, all of you, this is My blood.
15. What should we do when we eat His body and drink His blood, and in this way receive His pledge? We should remember and proclaim His death and the shedding of His blood, as He taught us: This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.
16. Why should we remember and proclaim His death? First, so that we may learn to believe that no creature could make satisfaction for our sins. Only Christ, true God and man, could do that. Second, so we may learn to be horrified by our sins, and to regard them as very serious. Third, so we may find joy and comfort in Christ alone, and through faith in Him be saved.
17. What motivated Christ to die and make full payment for your sins? His great love for His Father and for me and other sinners, as it is written in John 14; Romans 5; Galatians 2 and Ephesians 5.
18. Finally, why do you wish to go to the Sacrament? That I may learn to believe that Christ, out of great love, died for my sin, and also learn from Him to love God and my neighbor.
19. What should admonish and encourage a Christian to receive the Sacrament frequently? First, both the command and the promise of Christ the Lord. Second, his own pressing need, because of which the command, encouragement, and promise are given.
20. But what should you do if you are not aware of this need and have no hunger and thirst for the Sacrament? To such a person no better advice can be given than this: first, he should touch his body to see if he still has flesh and blood. Then he should believe what the Scriptures say of it in Galatians 5 and Romans 7. Second, he should look around to see whether he is still in the world, and remember that there will be no lack of sin and trouble, as the Scriptures say in John 15-16 and in 1 John 2 and 5. Third, he will certainly have the devil also around him, who with his lying and murdering day and night will let him have no peace, within or without, as the Scriptures picture him in John 8 and 16; 1 Peter 5; Ephesians 6; and 2 Timothy 2.

Note: These questions and answers are no child's play, but are drawn up with great earnestness of purpose by the venerable and devout Dr. Luther for both young and old. Let each one pay attention and consider it a serious matter; for St. Paul writes to the Galatians in chapter six: "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked."

The Sacrament Of The Altar

From Luther's Small Catechism.

"The Sacrament of the Altar
As the head of the family should teach it in a simple way to his household.

What is the Sacrament of the Altar?
It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, for us Christians to eat and to drink, instituted by Christ Himself.

Where is this written?
The holy Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and St. Paul, write thus:
Our Lord Jesus Christ, the same night in which He was betrayed, took bread: and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and gave it to His disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you. This do in remembrance of Me.
After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Take, drink ye all of it. This cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the remission of sins. This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me.

What is the benefit of such eating and drinking?
That is shown us in these words: Given, and shed for you, for the remission of sins; namely, that in the Sacrament forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation are given us through these words. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.

How can bodily eating and drinking do such great things?
It is not the eating and drinking, indeed, that does them, but the words which stand here, namely: Given, and shed for you, for the remission of sins. Which words are, beside the bodily eating and drinking, as the chief thing in the Sacrament; and he that believes these words has what they say and express, namely, the forgiveness of sins.

Who, then, receives such Sacrament worthily?
Fasting and bodily preparation is, indeed, a fine outward training; but he is truly worthy and well prepared who has faith in these words: Given, and shed for you, for the remission of sins.
But he that does not believe these words, or doubts, is unworthy and unfit; for the words For you require altogether believing hearts."

Comforting Scriptures

I love these chapters and verses. Particularly Chapter 16:33.

"John 13

1Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
2And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;
3Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
4He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
5After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
6Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?
7Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
8Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
9Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
10Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
11For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.
12So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
13Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
14If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
15For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
16Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
17If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
18I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.
19Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.
20Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
21When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
22Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.
23Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
24Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.
25He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?
26Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
27And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.
28Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.
29For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.
30He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.
31Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
32If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.
33Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.
34A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
36Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.
37Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.
38Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

John 14

1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
5Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.
12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
22Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
25These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
28Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
29And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
30Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
31But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

John 15

1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
9As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
12This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
16Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
17These things I command you, that ye love one another.
18If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
21But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
22If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.
23He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
24If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
25But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
26But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
27And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

John 16

1These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
2They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
3And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
4But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
5But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?
6But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.
7Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
8And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
11Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
12I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
15All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
16A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.
17Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?
18They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith.
19Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?
20Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
21A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
22And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
23And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
24Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
25These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.
26At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:
27For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
28I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
29His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.
30Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.
31Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?
32Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
33These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

John 17

1These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
2As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
3And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
4I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
5And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
6I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
7Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
8For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
9I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
10And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
11And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
12While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
13And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
14I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
18As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
20Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
24Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
25O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
26And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them."

Maundy Thursday Prayer

Copied from the Lutheran Book Of Prayer, copyright 1970, Concordia Publishing House.

"We remember, Lord, that on this night in which You were betrayed You provided the blessed meal of Your Holy Supper for us. On the eve of the most dreadful hours of Your life, we should think of what You were facing. But You did not think of Yourself. You though ot us. You cared for us, and You remembered us so that we could remember often what You have done for our salvation.

At Your table, Lord, we join the whole company of believers who feast on Your mercy. Unite us in the fellowship of faith as we are made one in this common meal. Make us paricipants in the victory which You won by the sacrifice of Your body and blood. Seal to us the eternal fruits of salvation that You promised with the giving of this meal.

May this holy supper always be to us the Holy Eucharist, the holy giving of thanks, that we may find the joy which You provided for us by Your sorrow. Accept now our thanks, Lord, and keep alive in us the hope that we shall break bread with You in eternity.


Let us join together this evening in this feast of mercy, Christ's true body and blood. Blessings.