Posts Tagged ‘Praise’

I am not doing well weathering the weather obsession.  By this mean, I don’t mean people who enjoy meteorology.  I mean the endless lead stories on the weather.  For the past two weeks, every opening story on The Today Show has basically been, “It’s Winter! It’s Snowing! It’s Really Cold in Chicago, New York, Buffalo!”  This is news?! I grew up in the Midwest, tell me something I don’t know, that is, tell me some actual news.  I think the brutality of the carnage in Syria is of a bit greater importance that any  “brutal” snowstorm that causes, God forbid, flight delays.  Our perspectives are so askew.  For what its worth, I have noticed this weather obsession for years.  Why?  Why are we so obsessed with the weather?

A heavy quote from The Revolt of the Masses by Spanish philosopher,  Prof. Joel Ortega y Gasset:

“…we live in a time when man believes himself fabulously capable of creation, but he does not know what to create. Lord of all things, he is not lord of himself.”

Isn’t that the truth? The second phrase of the last statement is part of the basic message of the Bible.  And so is the first half and  Ortega y Gasset might have stated that tongue in cheek.  We think we are “lord of all things” and this is why the weather just ticks us off:  we can’t control it.  This is our false belief system as we think we are the creator.   It galls the petty dictator, man that the weather gets the best of  him;  but for Christians, the Old Adam, who thinks he is “lord of all things”, that petty idol, has been gladly dethroned.

Cast every idol from its throne,
For God is God, and he alone:
To God all praise and glory!                                                                              (hymn #452, Lutheran Worship)

Yet, remember that dictators, even petty ones, thinking they are “lord of all things” are quite  capable of great horror and brutality. In the Lord we can sing and pray with the Psalmist, God is the Lord of all things, including the weather, including us that He bought with His blood:

Praise the Lord from the earth,
    you great sea creatures and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and mist,
    stormy wind fulfilling his word! (Psalm 148: 7-8)

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Tongue Tied?

The Epistle Lesson for the 17th Sunday after Pentecost (Year B) is James 3 : 1-12.  It is about the weakest part of our body, the tongue which can do the greatest damage in teaching false doctrine, cursing and damning a neighbor and yet on a Sunday sing God’s praises.  So this cartoon:

Now we are encouraged  to “bridle our tongues”  (James 1:26but the point of James and the entire Bible, God’s Word,  is not merely to shut-up!  Thomas Aquinas said,   “If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever”.  Yes, if preserving the tongue were the highest aim, we should just shut up and never speak.  This is not what James is getting at.  Even so, we would still sin by thought!    Now I can say whatever I want, but not everything is helpful and so I am still sinning by my tongue.  We will have slips, yes, great falls and stumbles with what we say.  Then we turn in repentance to the Lord for forgiveness.  He forgives and  He wants us to speak of His Word so that many may hear and believe, so we can warn a brother or sister of peril,  so we can guide someone along the Way of Jesus Christ, so we can pray.  He said to the deaf and mute man, Ephphatha, Be opened! Mark 7:34  King David prayed, O Lord, open Thou my lips and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise. (Psalm 51: 15)  Not tongue tied, but the tongue set free!

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