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Archive for June 19th, 2014

The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside!
    I shall be killed in the streets!”

Comment, from the Lutheran Study Bible:Sluggard. Lazy person…“There is a lion outside!”  Asian lions would not be found on a city street but in the remote wooded areas of Isarael; the excuse is ridiculous. Lazy people will use the most unreasonable fears to excuse their behavior.  I shall be killed.  Literally, “I will be murdered”-as if a person who asked him to go to work had criminal intent  These words further undercut the sluggard’s  credibility.”

I think that comment is correct and so this proverb is satire, but here is another take on the verse.  Let’s say one of those Asian lions did come into town.  Now reread the Proverbs verse.  He is willing to talk about the danger but only think about himself. It’s like the Yiddish story of a group of survivors of  ship that is sunk and a group arel in a life boat.  The life boat is being swamped in a storm and everyone is bailing water out.  But one man, sitting on his bench, takes out a drill and starts to drill a hole underneath him. Someone yells at him, Why are doing that?!  You’ll help the boat go down.  The man responds, “But it’s underneath my seat.”  He thought he was doing good in his utter self-centeredness. I shall be killed in the streets“.  He takes no measures to warn his neighbors.  He does not try to wound or kill the threat with a weapon he may have. He does not call out to his neighbors, Hey, let’s do something together!  He does not even think through the danger and instead of going in the streets, goes on the roof and throw some food to draw the lion away from the town…we do much talking and writing about the dangers we face.  We watch important television shows, blog on important blogs and get all concerned.  But the sluggard knows the danger is outside and does not want to face the danger, and all the while laud and praise, say, our soldiers and sailors.  It’s all talk.  We are informed and think we have done something by being informed. I know that’s important, but inaction is laziness.  “There is a lion outside!”  I may have to make an effort to fight the wrong with the Lord’s Word. Like the Chinese proverb: “Don’t curse the darkness.  Light a candle.”  The Light is shining in the darkness.  We are living in a moonless dark night of the world, but it makes no sense to those in danger in the night, for the Church not to use the light that has been given to us that we are holding and holds us.  

Lo! the hosts of evil ’round us,
Scorn Thy Christ, assail His ways.
From the fears that long have bound us,
Free our hearts to faith and praise.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
For the living of these days,
For the living of these days.

Save us from weak resignation,
To the evils we deplore.
Let the search for Thy salvation,
Be our glory evermore.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
Serving Thee Whom we adore,
Serving Thee Whom we adore.

(Hymn:  God of Grace, God of Glory)

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So what is wrong with this picture, the calendar above?  Yes, it is the wrong year but something else is really wrong with it.  Yes, Monday is listed as the first day of the week, not Sunday.  This is false.   Sunday, the day of rest and the Word, the Lord’s Day (Domingo, literally Lord, in Spanish) is  the head of the week,  the first day, as the Lord is the head of the Church and Lord of all nations. Why is Sunday relegated to the last day of the week?

  1. With  so much of our culture and society in a Babylonian captivity of secularism, the Name of God is not to be even mentioned in the public square.
  2. We work and live in a 24/7 world that we can not rest, give it a break and know that we did not create the world.
  3.  Fewer and fewer people go to Church or synagogue.
  4. We live for the weekend, we do not live for the Lord, and live in Him.

The Lord’s Day is for worship and families.  The reasons above are interrelated and add up to idolatry.  “…man willing to define himself as a ‘seeker after the maximum degree of comfort for the minimum expenditure of energy.’”, so Jewish theologian Abraham Heschel.  We do not expend a minimum of energy, though we want to, to maintain a “lifestyle”.  The demonic idols only desire is to enslave us in sin again with the temptation of the falsehood:   you will be happy.   I note we are not.  Center your life in you and depression can result or overweening pride.  Note then who is out of the picture:  the Lord our God.  He rested in the tomb on Holy Saturday with the sin of the world dead in His forgiveness, and on the first day of week, when He created light, the light of the world, Jesus Christ rose from the dead, our death, so we walk in the newness of life in Him. 

Take a break from the world and it’s false hopes.  Come to the Lord’s House this weekend where the Word is preached and the Sacraments administered according to the Gospel.

 

For your prayers:

“O Day of Rest and Gladness”
by Christopher Wordsworth, 1808-1885

1. O day of rest and gladness,
O day of joy and light,
O balm of care and sadness,
Most beautiful, most bright,
On thee the high and lowly
Before th’ eternal throne
Sing, “Holy, holy, holy,”
To the great Three in One.

2. On thee at the Creation
The light first had its birth;
On thee for our salvation
Christ rose from depth of earth;
On thee our Lord victorious
The Spirit sent from heaven,
And thus on thee, most glorious,
A threefold light was given.

3. Thou art a cooling fountain
In life’s dry, dreary sand;
From thee, like Nebo’s mountain,
We view our Promised Land;
A day of sweet reflection,
A day of holy love,
A day of resurrection
From earth to things above.

4. Today on weary nations
The heavenly manna falls;
To holy convocations
The silver trumpet calls,
Where Gospel-light is glowing
With pure and radiant beams
And living water flowing
With soul-refreshing streams.

5. New graces ever gaining
From this our day of rest,
We reach the rest remaining
To spirits of the blest.
To Holy Ghost be praises,
To Father, and to Son;
The Church her voice upraises
To Thee, blest Three in One.

The Lutheran Hymnal
Hymn #9 
Text: Ps. 118:24
Author: Christopher Wordsworth, 1862, cento, alt. 
Tune: “Ellacombe”

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