He ascended into Heaven

Happy Ascension Day!  Today we celebrate that Jesus, in the words of the Apostle’s Creed,  “ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.”  It’s interesting how some Christians use this teaching to deny that the Body of Christ can be really present in Holy Communion–after all, His body is in heaven at the right hand of the Father–while Lutherans use this teaching to explain how the Body of Christ can be present in Holy Communion (He now shares the attributes of Godhead, such as omnipresence).

Here, though, is an ancient Christian holiday that has not become secularized.  What do you say is the true meaning of Ascension Day? [Read more…]

Memorial

My father, a member of the occupying army in Europe just after World War II, died about this time last year.  My wife’s father, who fought at Iwo Jima, also died last year.  There aren’t many World War II veterans left.  Let’s remember and thank God for them today, along with our other veterans and the rest of our honored dead.

Mama tried

Our daughter Mary sent her mother this touching, sentimental musical tribute.  I would like to share it with all of you as a belated Mother’s Day testimonial. [Read more…]

The world’s eucatastrophe

Thanks to Rev. Sam Schuldheisz who posted passages from J. R. R. Tolkien on “eucatastrophe,” a word he coined for “the sudden happy turn in a story which pierces you with a joy that brings tears.”  Tolkien then developed the idea that the eucatastrophe of history is the Birth of Christ, and the eucatastrophe of the Incarnation is His resurrection. [Read more…]

It’s still Easter!

G.C. McLoughlin
G.C. McLoughlin
G.C. McLoughlinG.

It’s still Easter, and it will be for 40 days, corresponding to the 40 days that the risen Jesus was with his disciples until His Assumption into Heaven.  So we should still revel in this season, and I’m going to be putting up more Easter posts.

G. C. McLoughlin shows why St. John Chrysostom was called “Chrysostom”–that is, “golden-mouthed”–by quoting from his exuberant, joyful homily that is read at Easter matins in the Orthodox church. [Read more…]

“With fear and great joy”

When the Angel of the empty tomb appeared to the Roman guards, those courageous battle-hardened soldiers were so afraid that they passed out.  When the same Angel appeared to the women who came to care for the body of Jesus, they were also afraid, but they left “with fear and great joy.”  What was the difference?  The women had the Word of God proclaimed to them.  So explained our pastor in an illuminating Easter sermon, excerpted and linked after the jump. [Read more…]