31 July 2011

Daily, Weekly, Yearly, Forever

I've been intending to write a little piece on the Church Year and observing and celebrating our Eternal Life here in this life.   Pr. Weedon has captured exactly how I feel about the Church Year.  Someday I would like my family life to comfortably revolve around daily prayers and readings, feasts and festivals, and seasons, much as we already intuitively follow the liturgy on Sunday mornings.

19 July 2011

Elijah (July 20)

Elijah Taken Up in  a Chariot of Fire Giuseppi Angeli 1740-55
 Other paintings of Elijah can be found here.

From Treasury of Daily Prayer and lcms.org:

The prophet Elijah, whose name means, “My God is Yahweh, the Lord,” prophesied in the northern kingdom of Israel, mostly during the reign of Ahab (874–853 B.C.). Ahab, under the influence of his pagan wife Jezebel, had encouraged the worship of Baal throughout his kingdom, even as Jezebel sought to get rid of the worship of Yahweh. Elijah was called by God to denounce this idolatry and to call the people of Israel back to the worship Yahweh as the only true God (as he did in 1 Kgs 18:20–40). Elijahwas a rugged and imposing figure, living in the wilderness and dressing in a garment of camel's hair and a leather belt (2 Kgs 1:8). He was a prophet mighty in word and deed. Many miracles were done through Elijah, including the raising of the dead (1 Kgs 17:17–24), and the effecting of a long drought in Israel (1 Kgs 17:1). At the end of his ministry, he was taken up into heaven as Elisha, his successor, looked on (2 Kgs 2:11). Later on the prophet Malachi proclaimed that Elijah would return before the coming of the Messiah (Mal 4:5–6), a prophecy that was fulfilled in the prophetic ministry of John the Baptist (Mt 11:14).

  • Build an altar with caramel squares (get it?  Mt. Carmel?) and red hots on top to represent God's fire.
  • Make a simple flat bread recipe, remembering how the widow's oil and flour never ran out during the drought (I Kings 17).  Here is an example, although there are many ethnic varieties to choose from if you browse the web!
  • Make a list of how Elijah is a type of Christ.
  • Coloring page

    Ruth (July 16)

    Where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God  Ruth 1:16

    Biography from The Treasury of Daily Prayer and lcms.org:
    Ruth of Moab, the subject of the biblical book that bears her name, is an inspiring example of God's grace. Although she was a Gentile, God made her the great grandmother of King David (Ruth 4:17), and an ancestress of Jesus himself (Mt 1:5). A famine in Israel led Elimelech and Naomi of Bethlehem to emigrate to the neighboring nation of Moab with their two sons. The sons marriend Moabite women, Orpah and Ruth, but after about ten years, Elimelech and his sons died (Ruth 1:1–5). Naomi then decided to return to Bethlehem and urged her daughters-in-law to return to their families. Orpah listened to Naomi's but Ruth refused, replying with the stirring words: “Where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16). After Ruth arrived in Bethlehem, Boaz, a close relative of Elimelech, agreed to be Ruth's “redeemer” (Ruth 3:7–13; 4:9–12). He took her as his wife, and Ruth gave birth to Obed, the grandfather of David (Ruth 4:13–17), thus preserving the Messianic seed. Ruth's kindness and selfless loyalty toward Naomi, and her faith in Naomi's God, have long endeared her to the faithful and redounded to God's praise for his merciful choice of one so unexpected.
    The last painting above (by Michelangelo) depicts Ruth with her father-in-law, Salmon (husband of Rahab, and one of the spies under Moses and later Joshua).  Some interpreters say this painting connects Moses and the salvation of the Hebrews from slavery, with David (Salmon's descendant), and ultimately with Jesus.  (I love the well-fed and content baby Obed sleeping on Ruth's breast.)

    So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife. And he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. 14 Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.” 16 Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her lap and became his nurse. 17 And the women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.   Ruth 4

    "He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age" can obviously be applied to Christ, the Bread of Life.  But how wonderful that God met Naomi's need for a son,  even while He was preparing his people for their Savior!  Thank God that he provides your needs for this life, even as he prepares you for Eternal Life.

    Great gallery of art depicting Ruth (browse bible-art.info/index.htm)

    07 July 2011

    Isaiah (July 6)

    Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

    “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us,
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

    Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,

    “He has blinded their eyes
    and hardened their heart,
    lest they see with their eyes,
    and understand with their heart, and turn,
    and I would heal them.”

    Isaiah said these things because he saw His glory and spoke of Him.  John 12:38-41

    From lcms.org's Commemoration Biographies:
    Isaiah son of Amoz is considered to be the greatest of the writing prophets and is quoted in the New Testament more than any other Old Testament prophet. His name means “Yahweh, the Lord saves.” Isaiah prophesied to the people of Jerusalem and Judah from about 740 B.C. to 700 B.C. and was a contemporary of the prophets Amos, Hosea, and Micah. Isaiah was a fierce preacher of God's Law, condemning the sin of idolatry. He was also a comforting proclaimer of the Gospel, repeatedly emphasizing God's grace and forgiveness. For this he is sometimes called the “Evangelist of the Old Testament.” No prophet more clearly prophesied about the coming Messiah and his saving kingdom. He foretold the Messiah's miraculous birth (Is 7:14; 9:6), his endless reign (Is 2:1–5; 11:1–16), and his public ministry (Is 61:1–3), but most notably his “Suffering Servant” role and atoning death (52:13—53:12). The apostle John's description of Isaiah, that Isaiah saw Jesus' glory and spoke of him (John 12:41), is an apt summary of Isaiah's prophetic ministry.

    Pastor Walter Snyder has written stanzas to add to By All Your Saints in Warfare (LSB 517), including one about Isaiah (search his site for stanzas appropriate for other commemorations).

    Coloring pages: Touched by a Burning Coal  (disappointing seraphim..), Preachingprophesying Christ,

    02 July 2011

    The Visitation (July 2-One Year Lectionary)

    Note: Mary's Visitation to Elizabeth is celebrated on July 2nd in the One Year Lectionary.  It is celebrated on May 31 in the 3-Year Lectionary. For a detailed explanation of the differences between the two lectionaries, see LCMS's  page on the topic.

    In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."

    And Mary said,

        "My soul magnifies the Lord,
      and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
    for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
       For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
    for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
       and holy is his name.
    And his mercy is for those who fear him
       from generation to generation.
    He has shown strength with his arm;
     he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
     he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
      and exalted those of humble estate;
    he has filled the hungry with good things,
       and the rich he has sent away empty.
    He has helped his servant Israel,
        in remembrance of his mercy,
     as he spoke to our fathers,
        to Abraham and to his offspring forever."

    And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.                   Luke 1:39-56

    The Visitation Jan Lievens c.1640

    The Visitation  Domenico Ghirlandaio c. 1486                                                                                                                                            [One part of a series on St. John's life.  See Art and the Bible to view the rest]

    The Visitation Il Guercino 17th century

    I have heard Mary referred to as the new Ark of the Covenant (bearing God himself).  Perhaps Luke intentionally suggested the Ark of the Covenant was a type of Mary:

    II Kings 6:2 And David arose and went, with all the people that were with him of the men of Juda to fetch the ark of God, upon which the name of the Lord of hosts is invoked, who sitteth over it upon the cherubims.
    Luke 1:39 And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Judah

    II Kings l 6:9 And David was afraid of the Lord that day, saying: How shall the ark of the Lord come to me?
        Luke 1:43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

    II Kings 6:11 And the ark of the Lord abode in the house of Obededom the Gethite three months...
        Luke 1:56 And Mary abode with her about three months; and she returned to her own house...

    II Kings 6:16 And when the ark of the Lord was come into the city of David, Michol the daughter of Saul, looking out through a window, saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord   
    Luke 1:41 And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb.

    This is also when the Old and New Testaments "meet," in Elizabeth and Mary, respectively.

    Coloring page over at Feast and Feria.  Any traditions for The Visitation at your house?  Most of the Roman Catholic sites focus more on Mary than the event as a whole...I wasn't able to find much.  We'll sing the Magnificat tonight after prayers, instead of the Doxology.