Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ephesians 5 Continues the Scripture-Long Description of Marriage

It's not as if God's idea of marriage comes up for the first time in the New Testament letters of Paul. But Ephesians does paint a gorgeously descriptive and clear picture of how we may walk in the way of love, pleasing God and avoiding the darkness in the way we express ourselves, sexually, in our relationships, and even in how we talk. 

And what a beautiful story we may tell about Christ and the Church in the way we conduct ourselves, husband and wife, maritally.

Paul even produces or repeats a little poem about the Lord shining on those who awake from their sleep and rise from the dead. 

Would we diminish the fragrant sacrifice? Would we step away from that bright glowing circle, that warming fire of the light of salvation, and embrace the cold and dark instead?

(Cut and pasted from Bible Gateway)

Ephesians 5

New International Version (NIV)
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a] Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.14 This is why it is said:
“Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,

and Christ will shine on you.”
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine,which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Instructions for Christian Households

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy,cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Because a Little Wynonna Is Always a Good Thing


And only love sails straight from the harbor
And only love will lead us to the other shore
Out of all the flags I've flown
One flies high and stands alone
Only lov


GK Chesterton and the Media

Worth Re-posting: GK Chesterton Talks about the Undemocratic Press (and Presages Monty Python)

David sent me this quote from, I believe, The Ball and the Cross-- Chesterton stating the obvious with wit and candor:

"It is the one great weakness of journalism as a picture of our modern existence, that it must be a picture made up entirely of exceptions. We announce on flaring posters that a man has fallen off a scaffolding. We do not announce on flaring posters that a man has not fallen off a scaffolding. Yet this latter fact is fundamentally more exciting, as indicating that that moving tower of terror and mystery, a man, is still abroad upon the earth. That the man has not fallen off a scaffolding is really more sensational; and it is also some thousand times more common.
But journalism cannot reasonably be expected thus to insist upon the permanent miracles. Busy editors cannot be expected to put on their posters, "Mr. Wilkinson Still Safe," or "Mr. Jones, ofWorthing, Not Dead Yet." They cannot announce the happiness of mankind at all. They cannot describe all the forks that are not stolen, or all the marriages that are not judiciously dissolved. Hence the complete picture they give of life is of necessity fallacious; they can only represent what is unusual. However democratic they may be, they are only concerned with the minority."

Trailing Clouds of Glory: Expansion, Inflation, Space, and Time

I think in Astronomy you see both the profound limitations and the amazing creativity and resourcefulness of human beings.

I am interested in the idea of the Big Bang. In college I wrote a paper for my Cosmology class on the findings of Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson. Please note that Cosmology at my college might have been subtitled, "Physics for Struggling People Who Came Here to Study Yeats but Somehow Have to Get Their Area Science Credit."

I think this article is a nice, accessible, readable explanation of the work of Penzias and Wilson, the implications of the Hubble telescope findings(why Hubble is such a big deal), and the implications of recent findings in Science.

LINK in Wired Magazine 

Monday, March 17, 2014

St Patrick's Breastplate

Legend says that St. Patrick wrote the words which Cecil Alexander made into an English hymn. Here is part of it:

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever,
by power of faith, Christ's Incarnation;
his baptism in Jordan river;
his death on cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spic├Ęd tomb;
his riding up the heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet "Well done" in judgment hour;
the service of the seraphim;
confessors' faith, apostles' word,
the patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls;
all good deeds done unto the Lord,
and purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven
the glorious sun's life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken, to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort
and restore me.
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of
all that love me,
Christ in mouth of
friend and stranger

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Words: attributed to St. Patrick (372-466);
trans. Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895), 1889

What's Your Temptation?

Interesting post from Justin Taylor quoting some writers on the erosion of religious liberty in America.

Interesting to consider: which temptation are you more likely to face in cultural adversity? Silencing/suppressing your conscience OR reacting in anger or pugnaciousness?

LINK: Erosion of religious liberty

Friday, March 7, 2014

Not What Betty Friedan Had In Mind: The Working Mother Underclass

Caitlyn Flanagan (an uber-upper class working mom) writes a frank (slightly coarse language alert) discussion of feminist history, unintended consequences, and, as she says, the cruel self-service of the "smarty-pants" upper-class feminist ennobling of prosperous mothers by conflating their lot with working class and domestic laborer mothers.

For the purposes of this article, she only addresses two extremes: 1. upper-class women working strictly for self-fulfillment and 2. working-class women doing menial work full time to put food on the table. Basically -- those who hire nannies and those who are nannies.

How Serfdom Saved the Women's Movement