Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday Chuckles

I'm told that Anglicans make fudge... Capital Hill seems to be in the "creative mode" too...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday Reverie II

Deacon's Mass

Sunday December 27 was a beautiful morning in Suburbia Majora. Father Toby was on the road and down in Hilton Head, SC. Our minister of Music was also away. this left this humble parish Deacon and a musically inclined vestryman to preside over the celebration that is the First Sunday after Christmas.

We were graced with the homily delivered by Bob Graver, a semi-retired Baptist minister who is a recent convert to Anglicanism. Pastor Bob spoke on the text from Matthew's account of the Nativity and levied the call for each of us to answer when our Lord's messengers speak to each of us.

This humble Deacon had the honor to preside over the Eucharistic Celebration of reserved Sacrament, consecrated prior to christmas.

I look across the blogosphere... Padre Mickey has the Lovely Mona, Father Mark has his helpmate; I have Miss Robin, my wonderful wife of 28 glorious years. She's that lady at my side.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Prayers for Rifqa

From the Book of Common Prayer:
Look with pity, O heavenly Father, upon the people in this
land who live with injustice, terror, disease, and death as
their constant companions. Have mercy upon us. Help us to
eliminate our cruelty to these our neighbors. Strengthen those
who spend their lives establishing equal protection of the law
and equal opportunities for all. And grant that every one of
us may enjoy a fair portion of the riches of this land; through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Assist us mercifully, O Lord, in these our supplications and
prayers, and dispose the way of thy servants towards the
attainment of everlasting salvation; that, among all the
changes and chances of this mortal life, they may ever be
defended by thy gracious and ready help; through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.

Rifqa Bary, a seventeen year-old follower of the way desperately needs your prayers today. She will be in court today for a dependency hearing to determine if she is to be returned to her muslim parents. Rifqa contends that if she is sent back, she'll likely fall victim to an honor killing, an answer to "spare the rod, spoil the child".

Her fears aren't baseless by any measure. Honor killings have risen sharply in western nations, the UK has seen a pandemic of this crime. The US and Canada too have seen a rise of this crime which is sanctioned by sharia law and acquits those family members who murder (typically a female) family member for an imagined breach of honor.

For now, I find the deafening silence of the left, especially the feminist left awkwardly irksome. Had this been a case where Rifqa was desiring an abortion or the opportunity to pursue an "alternative lifestyle", the hue and cry would be off the gage.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Santa Claus... a denominational phenomena

I pinched this link from Fr. Dwight Longenecker's Bog, Standing on My Head. The post belongs to the Gentleman Farmer, a blogger dwelling outside the tendril's of Suburbia Majora. You're bound to enjoy a Monday chuckle or two.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Even in Advent...

From the Book of Common Prayer, An Order for Compline:
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or
weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who
sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless
the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the
joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.
Even in Advent, people hurt. As I type and as you read, there are those whose bodies are racked with sickness and even fighting for life. There are those who are writhing on a bed of suffering and those who are giving up the fight for life.

We can never allow ourselves to become so busy or self-consumed that we fail to be cognizant to the needs of those in our midst. The Lord help us if this is, or becomes the story of our lives.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Thought in Advent...

Like the video so aptly demonstrated, the hurting and wounded walk in our midst daily. It is all too easy for us to be blinded and deafened to their tears and their cries.

On that great day of reckoning, when we'll file our "travel vouchers" and settle the accounts, will we be standing there with our hands in pockets saying "Buuuwh?" Or, will we be saying to the Almighty that, in our ministry to the dispossessed that we never saw Him in the soup line. He reminds all of us kids in the peanut gallery that as we extend our hand to the most beat down, we are extending our hand to Him.

St. John the Baptizer's words should still ring in our ears... We all were a face in that clutch of copperheads trying to flee the coming wrath. May we all bring fourth the fruits of repentance, extending the Grace of the Almighty to all.

After the Third Sunday in Advent

Traditionally, this third Sunday in Advent is the Sunday of Gladness. Yet for the hoopla, this Sunday had a tincture of "warning" as contained in Sunday's Gospel reading.

The rub is so simple that a child can get it... Advent is a two-edged season in which we remember the babe, born into abject and crushing poverty that he might identify with us and our utter fallenness. He came, not to wallow in our brokenness, rather to lift us and wash us clean from that filth which stood between us and the Almighty. Too, we look to the King of Glory who is returning to settle a score with the Fallen one, and will establish a kingdom that will neither fade nor fall. To quote the Apostle, Come Quickly LORD Jesus, Your servants ache and long for your reign.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Strange Case of Rev. Mary Glasspool

Why do we elect those who would be Bishops? To what standard do we measure those who might become Bishops, should they meet the prerequisites? Where do we find this measuring stick? The questions seem ponderous at first, especially in an age where it takes a nation's CEO the better part of a year to make a decision. The questions may also seem seriously daunting to those caught in the kudzu of political correctness. Don't misunderstand me for one moment. The questions have extreme gravitas and the way in which they're answered have serious and lasting spiritual impact. No, far from being flip or sarcastic, this is an issue that calls for clear-headed consideration. Graciously, the Almighty has already done some heavy lifting for us in this search for answers. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit moving through the pen of Saint Paul, these questions have been answered for us ahead of time.

We elect Bishops that the church may have oversight and leadership. Consider St. Paul's words to the Ephesian Church:
... to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming... Eph 4:12-14

Those who would be Bishops have the Divine charge of stewardship over the flocks of the Almighty, to shepherd them away from darkness and onwards towards the light. They guard against the false and cunning teachings that would shipwreck the faithful. Too, we've been provided with prerequisites that one who would be Bishop should meet before "hands are laid" upon them. These are neither impossible nor onerous:
... Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap. ... I Tim 3:2-7
It's quite clear that the Bishop is to be one who is rooted in the historic, orthodox Christian faith. Scripture is unambiguous as to the gender of one who would be placed in this office. This fact does not denigrate the the female gender one jot or tittle, and no amount of shrieking on the part of Shelby Spong, et al, will make it so. There is no Title IX clause or ERA Amendment to Scripture. If we attempt to shoe-horn a woman into a sacramental office that was ordained as one for a man, we are operating outside the pale of Scripture. The "Proverbs 31" woman, as blessed as she is, is not qualified by scriptural writ to serve in the office of Bishop/Overseer.

Now, ((gasp)), its time to address the 800 pound primate in the room...

Miss. Glasspool, by her own admission has chosen to engage without repentance in sexual activities clearly proscribed by Scripture. I will say to her credit that she has done this openly and without pretense but regardless, she has lived in open defiance to the counsel of the Almighty. This fact, on its own merit, is a disqualification to stand in the office of Bishop.

I want to lay down some presuppositions for a number of folk I'm fond of, including Mickey+, Mark+ and others. I hold no hatred or animus towards the homosexual or lesbian whatsoever. I am stridently opposed to any violence done to the gay individual on the grounds of their choice of lifestyle. Those who do violence against gay individuals deserve for the full weight of our justice system to come crashing down around their ears. In fact, I've no compunction in seeing the ultimate penalty (read capital punishment) handed down to those guilty of the ultimate violence against the homosexual, or for that matter anyone (without the need of hate crimes "training wheels").

Homosexuality is just one shade in a spectra of brokenness that separates us from fellowship with the Almighty. It is no more sinful than theft, adultery, murder, lying, gossip, grumbling, unthankfulness, witchcraft, etc. Regardless of what some loons or orifices may claim, the Almighty has not placed the homosexual under any special interdiction. No, Like any other brokenness, healing and redemption has been made available for us through the atonement.

Should a former, freed homosexual who now walks in newness of life in Christ Jesus be kept from an office they're otherwise qualified for? Absolutely not. Should one who continues in their sin, in spite of the Almighty's offer for healing be even considered for a sacramental office? Absolutely not.

It's not about barring the door nor freezing the homosexual out of the house of God. For the love of God, I would that every orthodox, God-honoring parish would throw their arms around the gay community; not to celebrate and wallow in their brokenness, but to point them towards divine transformation.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Out of the mouths of Blowhards...

MSNBC's own resident bloviator Chris Matthews has in just 31 seconds, spit in the face of every West Pointer who has served and bled for their country. Nutz to you Chris, you owe an apology and a resignation to America's finest!