Nailing down God

Great Holy Week meditation from LCMS President Matthew Harrison:

The world must surely think we’ve lost our marbles when, in the liturgy for Good Friday, the words ring out: “We adore You, O Lord, and we praise and glorify Your resurrection. For behold, by the wood of the cross joy has come into all the world.”

How true! On that day of deepest darkness, humankind finally got its hands on God. We grabbed hold of God in the flesh, nailed Him to a tree and told Him to get out of our world and leave us “the hell” alone. To this day, our every sin still demands the same — to be left alone in hell. Not much cause for joy there.

Ah, but even more true, on that day of deepest darkness, our God was loving the world, loving you and me and all who fail Him again and again. He was loving us by giving His only Son into that horrid death so that our hate-filled, violent, rebellious race might be pardoned and given a life without end in His kingdom. [Read more...]

Herbert’s Maundy Thursday poem

I’ve posted this poem before, since it’s maybe my favorite poem by George Herbert.  But I realized that this is his Maundy Thursday poem.  It’s all here:  love, the agony in the garden, the Sacrament, the leadup to the Crucifixion.  And in this poem, Herbert shows how all of those are linked.  Read it after the jump. [Read more...]

Maundy Thursday and the search for the real Jesus

Anthony Sacramone discusses all of the magazine cover stories about “the search for the real Jesus” that get published during Lent, generally concluding that we can’t really know much about Him, the assumption being that the Gospels aren’t reliable.  Well, Mr. Sacramone gives a very Lutheran answer to those in search of a tangible Jesus, proposing a billboard campaign, as you can see after the jump. [Read more...]

April Fools’ Day Central

If you come across any amusing April Fool’s Day pranks–on the internet, in the media, in actual life–please tell about them here.  Read this for the origins, though it sounds like no one really knows for sure, with the explanations themselves sounding like hoaxes.

Shooting down the claims that Easter has pagan origins

Rev. Joseph Abrahamson has thoroughly refuted these claims about Easter, and yet we still keep hearing them:

There are three main things people attack about this Holy Day:

They claim that it is pagan because the name Easter is from a pagan goddess.

They claim that Easter eggs are a symbol of pagan worship, particularly of that false goddess in number 1.

They claim that the Easter bunny is a pagan symbol, the consort of the pagan goddess in number 1.

All of these claims are false.

Easter eggs, for example, come from the use of eggs in the Passover celebration and in the practice of breaking the Lenten fast against eating animal products with eggs on Easter morning.  Go here for the details about why all of these claims of Easter’s pagan origins are just demonstrably wrong.

In the meantime, ANOTHER claim has emerged–that Easter and Easter eggs come from a Persian Zoroastrian holiday named Nowruz.  Rev. Abrahamson shoots that one down too, linked and excerpted after the jump. [Read more...]

The true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day

The true meaning of St. Patrick’s Day, which is today, is not to honor Ireland but to honor missionaries.  But we can honor Ireland too, which–thanks to St. Patrick and the church he brought to that island–saved civilization.  To celebrate the day, don’t just wear green.  Read this meditation by St. Patrick, which has been turned into a hymn and one of this blog’s most popular posts:  Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me.

[Read more...]