Saturday, January 16, 2010

Music for the Ride Home

Nothing takes the burr off the edge of the day like anything by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.

Mission Accomplished

Well, we're back on the road and tooling around the DC beltway and heading back to Suburbia Majora. The computers in Delaware are up and fully operational. I'm tempted to throw out some old Air Force acronyms like "RFO" (reason for outage) at this point, but I'll not do it. The home network was out of service as a result of a misappropriated network cable. Succinctly, if there's no cable between the cable modem and the wireless G router, there'll be no bits a' flowing. Simple fix; drag yerself down to the store, procure a cat-5 cable, then span the chasm between cable modem and wireless router. Mission accomplished.

In all, it was a great day in the "Diamond State"

The Feast of Martin Luther King Jr.

From the Book of Common Prayer:
Almighty God, by the hand of Moses your servant you led your people out of slavery, and made them free at last; Grant that your Church, following the example of your prophet Martin Luther King, may resist oppression in the name of your love, and may secure for all your children the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

I wanted to touch on this yesterday but there was too much stuff and note enough day, so I'll give it a toss.

I was a kindergartener on April 4, 1968 when the shot rang out in the Memphis sky. I remember the unrest that broke out in my hometown of Coatesville, PA, when arsonists struck with fury. Those were nights when not only were homes burning, but the volunteer firemen were sitting ducks for snipers waiting in the overpasses. These were tragic days.

I often wonder, 42 years after the Reverend Doctor's untimely demise, what would be his take on the shape of things today?

Dr. King's message was Biblical and Conservative. It stood in stark contrast to the evils perpetrated by and perpetuated by southern Democratic Governors and legislatures, Bull Connor types and men who went about in white hoods. In the Doctor's ethos, the Black man and the White man shared the same humanity. He inspired those to look for the day when his children would live in unity and harmony with my father's children. In his vision, pigmentation would no longer be a point of division. Rev. King's words seem to echo those of Saint Paul who proclaimed the truth of the "Colorblind" Kingdom of God.

Sometime in the late 1980's, Doctor King's message was hijacked by those advocates of race-based politics. The message of unity was usurped by an angry, divisive, hate-filled message. a contingent of self-loathing white liberals jumped on this message with a vengeance. This new message of victimhood has only served to balkanize the very society that Doctor King sought to unite.

I truly wonder what Doctor King would say to the Jackson's and the Sharpton's of today's world?

Bloggin' in the Backseat

To quote Travis Tritt, "Its a great day to be alive". It's 2010 and even though I've yet to see my flying "Jetson Car" or my personal jet pack, I can now sit in the back seat of a PT cruiser toolin' down US 50 while blogging.

"So what's the auspicious occasion Catbird?" Well, since yer' asking, I'm on the way out to do some computer repair on the nephew and niece's computer. Poor kids, their system has been in a perpetual state of broke, infected and unconnected. This is what happens to computer kids who click on links that point to cute cursors or somebody's boobs. But I digress...

This is all possible, courtesy of my Sprint Broadband card.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Wednesday Evening Read

Father Robin Adams, Rector of Church of the Word, Gainsville, VA shared this piece from the Online version of Christianity Today. Our West Coast colleague and escapee from Truro, Father Richard Crocker, is quoted on the second page.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Thursday Nite 80's Relapse

And man oh man, those mullets are the living end...

St. Jude meets Eleanor Rigby

First, there is:

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. Jude 1:3

And, then there's:
Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream. Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door. Who is it for?

There are but a few things in this world that I'm truly passionate for. Included in this list are the truth of God's Word and His promises pertaining to you & I, the belief that through the atonement that there is radical redemption and profound transformation, and that the Almighty will set foot back in His creation to close the books & establish a kingdom that will be without end and without match. Besides that, my wife, my adult kids, my terriers and the perfect brew; I'm pretty flexible on things. This all said, there was a moment this week that served to remind me of some critical issues.

I recently had the blessing of reconnecting with a woman whom I was friends with through elementary school. Suffice to say, much had occurred in those intervening years since the 70's. This lady is a sweetheart who though seeming to have lived a charmed life, had been served a sterecore sandwich in many aspects. She knew the sorrow of burying a child, and lived under the sadness of believing that the Almighty had forgotten her.

My heart broke for my old friend. Not just for her loss, but for her living under the adversary's propaganda that the Lord of Heaven & Earth had it out for her. I assured Lady that not only did the Father only love her, but He sent His only son that she might be reconciled back to him. I can only pray that her soul was lifted.

Now why am I sharing this? Well its simple campers. Since 2003, many have been engaged in the combat of the orthodox, defending the "faith once delivered". Kegs and kegs of powder has been burned and employed against the "revisionist" and "liberal". Yet, while we've been knee deep in the hoopla, have we lost the trail?

We contend for the truth. But, we have a greater commission. And that is to (the Savior's words, not mine) feed the Lord's sheep. That's what its all about. The wounded and broken lambs could give a rat's backside over our ongoing debates, they just want to find relief and to stop bleeding. It's possible for us to be so busy defending orthodoxy that the wounded continue to die at our feet. Kyrie eleison.

Monday, January 04, 2010

I've always been a fan of Brit Hume

Brit Hume, in my opinion, has ben a transcendent figure in contemporary American Journalism. Not one to have imbibed in the kool-aide, Brit seems to be one whose ethos is fueled by a pursuit of the truth rather than putting forth a story through an agenda-tainted megaphone. Rather than being a Maddow or an Olbermann, or Schneider; Brit seemed to rather to be cut from the same cloth as those like Edward R. Murrow.

Brit Hume's concern for Tiger woods is real and visceral.

There are many right now whose heads are spinning clean off of their necks over Brit Hume's comments. But let's step back for a moment and take a purely objective look at the situation.

First, Mr. Hume wasn't taking a swipe at Buddhists. He did make an inference concerning the nature of Buddhism. Within that belief system, one is basically in a countdown towards absorption into the cosmos. Or, a practical annihilation. There is no hope or promise of redemption/forgiveness in this life.

Christianity however, not only offers the promise of redemption in the life to come, but the promise that in this life, we've been washed clean of our transgressions against the holiness of the Almighty.

The 2nd Sunday in Christmas & the Imago Dei

From the Book of Common Prayer:

O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Yesterday's appointed Gospel reading and the reading for the Feast of the Holy Innocents were nearly identical, having been drawn from the same passage in Saint Matthew, chapter 2. Within the passage, we see heavenly intervention with the Holy Family's escape into Egypt, and the murderous hand of Herod, in the slaughter of the little ones in the regions of greater Bethlehem. Nestled within the passage is the visceral, heart rending words of the Prophet Jeremiah:

"A voice was heard in Ramah,
wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be consoled, because they are no more."

Reading these words, one can hear ache in her voice, and almost taste the salt in her tears. Many skeptics have discounted this account due to the lack of a secular/parallel account. This is a strawman that's easily knocked down. Herod was a particularly unsavory despot of whom history recalls "It was better to be Herod's dogs than his sons." His treachery would have made the Ceasars blush. So, his execution of perhaps one hundred or so peasant babies would have been business as usual for this demonized tyrant. I think though, that in our spiritual myopia, we miss the 1080P, hi-def picture while we focus on the despot.

The Nabataean King Herod was little more than a useful idiot on many levels. Politically, he was installed, and governed at the pleasure of Rome. His actual power extended only as far as his roman leash would allow. Spiritually, he was a demonized pawn held tight in the iron grip of dark spiritual forces. Watermark evidence of this could be seen in his almost pathological assault of the image of God as seen in humanity or, the Imago Dei.

Satan's (and by extension, his minion's) abject contempt for the Almighty, has been regularly played out in violence done against the physical representations of the Holy... humanity. From the moment Cain raised his hand against Abel, to the moment one gangbanger callously takes the life of a rival, the demonic assault against the Imago Dei continues.

Saints & Pilgrims, we need to get absolutely settled on this fact; every life that is illegitimately snuffed out is an assault against the personage of the Almighty! This is why we're called to be about life, its celebration and its defense.

Its 2010 gang. In four short days, tens of thousands of Babies have been disemboweled and dismembered in their mother's womb. Islamists have spilled rivers of blood in hellish, benighted enclaves around the world, and amoral masses continue to slaughter one another over the slightest pretense. We have to ask, to what level will we as the Church be required to answer for all of this?

Again, its 2010. I pray that this is the year that the saints of God cease to be a collective group of me-monkeys, don the divinely-appropriated spiritual armor, and become the Church-Militant.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Holy Eucharist: A Promissory Note

I never cease to be amazed in the way that our Lord's Table is viewed across Christendom. For the sake of brevity and simplicity, I'll limit this rant to the shores of the fifty states. First, there is the Independent Fundamental Baptist/Jack Chickennsian thought that if you gather around our Lord's table more than once a year, you're a a secret agent of Rome, bent on subverting Protestantism. Then, there is the Roman error of Transubstantiation, where the elements supposedly become the actual Body and Blood of the Savior.

I ardently hold to the Anglican view that unlike either the Roman view of transformation, or the Baptist/Anabaptist view of Memorialism, that our Lord is present in the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist.

How so the Promissory note?

Scripture proclaims to us two facts concerning the Eucharist. First, we consider the words of the Christ when he shares with his twelve that he'll not partake in this celebration again until he comes into his Kingdom. Two, Saint Paul reminds us that we partake in this meal as a memorial of his death resurrection and a promise of His return.

Let us proclaim the Mystery of our Faith:

Christ has Died
Christ has risen
Christ will return again