Sunday, December 20, 2009

Our Days

It's been a busy week at the Palmer household. Thursday, Elise, John, and Lindsay sang in choir at the seminary chapel; yesterday, we made about 165 kolaches (Czech recipe from my side of the family), and the kids played in the first snow ; today, the kids were in the Christmas program (great job, kids, and great job on the piano, Elise!), we went caroling at two nursing homes and even got to sing on the radio. Also on the radio, John asked the question, "What does Christmas mean to you?" To which he replied, "The birth of Christ." The pastor asked him why that was important, and he said, "Because he died on the cross for us." Good answer!

Seeing the older folks at the nursing home, thinking about Christ's first and second comings, and the close of another year always makes me think about the brevity of life. Even my little Bethany has lost her first tooth, which is a big reminder that she isn't so little anymore!

"So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12

Thankfully, in my lack of wisdom, Jesus is my wisdom: "God chose what is low and despised in the that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, 'Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.'" 1 Corinthians 1:28-30

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Why use the church calendar?

Do we follow the church calendar because we are stuck on outdated, rote tradition? Or could it have a salutary effect on our faith?

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Friday, December 4, 2009

All Dressed Up

Last Saturday, I got to go to a murder mystery party at a friend's house. Everyone attending got a part to play in it, and my part was a young lady in an ambassadress contest. This part required dressing up, so I had a lot of fun with that. I am very thankful that I was able to find a nice dress (thank you, seminary co-op!) I had a great time at the party.

His Coming

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke 1:76-78 (emphasis mine)

These verses are Zechariah speaking about his son, John, and his special job to prepare for the coming of the Lord. We are also preparing for the coming of the Lord, during the “new year” in the church calendar, Advent. I have now experienced one full year of the church calendar as a Lutheran, and have found it to be enriching and Christ-focused. I like the rhythm that it gives: following the Advent of our Lord, his Passion, the time of the church. I also like the connection that it gives me to the Christians who have worshipped this way for centuries. God’s truth stands firm, and He preserves His church. I recently read a blog post in which the young writer stated that “each generation reinvents the church.” I found that to be a disturbing statement. We don’t define the church, God’s Word does. We do not fit the Word to the culture; God’s Word speaks to the world. It is His Holy Spirit, through His Word, that still convicts of sin through His Law, and brings salvation through the Gospel.

It is that Word that proclaims to us His first coming as a babe in the manger, fully God and fully man, born to atone for our sins, and that Word proclaims His second coming, as Savior and Judge.

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you all. Amen. (Revelation 22:20-21)