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Archive for January 1st, 2015

Blessed New Year!

Concordia and Koinonia

One of my childhood memories of my family is attending New Year’s Eve Holy Communion Service at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Yonkers, NY.  I liked going to that service. One reason might have been the unusual time to have Holy Communion:  in the evening.  At that age of life, I could not receive His Body and Blood but that was okay and I understood the reason.  I guess that Service seems similar to the people of Israel, in the night of the 1st Passover, hunkering down in their homes sprinkled with the blood of a lamb without spot or blemish, while the angel of death passed through Egypt.  New Year’s Eve is a time fraught with danger and we were in the place the Lord commanded and wanted us to dwell.  Now St. Mark’s was a Gothic-style church with wonderful stained-glass windows. In the daytime stained-glass appear life-less on…

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“What God proposes does not please the world, and what the world undertakes does not please God!” (Luther, sermon on Luke 2: 21)

Concordia and Koinonia

The Circumcision of Jesus

His infant body now
Begins the cross to feel:
Those precious drops of blood that flow
For death the Victim seal. 

(Hymn #898, stanza 3, Lutheran Service Book)

Readings:  Numbers 6: 22-27;  Psalm 8;  Galatians 3: 23-29;  St. Luke 2: 21 (also read, Philippians 2: 1-11)

Reflection:  Eight days after a male Israelite’s birth, he is circumcised according to the Lord’s covenant with Abraham and Abraham’s descendants.  January 1st is 8 days after the birth of Jesus, December 25th.  This feast day stands in sharp contrast with the secular holiday of New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day. This feast day seems so stark, even a little bit on the squeemish side, as you look at the photo above: an old man coming at an infant with a knife to cut off his foreskin! “What God proposes does not please the world, and what the world undertakes does not please God!”…

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