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Topics - Donald_Kirchner

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Your Turn / The Hateful March for Life
« on: January 20, 2023, 01:22:39 PM »
"Tony Dungy to attend [today's] March for Life, dubbed right-wing extremist"

Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation: "Like Dungy, neither NBC nor the NFL has commented about his latest eruption. But their silence speaks volumes. It’s a silence that’s almost as loud as Dungy’s hateful blather, almost as loud as the thousands of people descending upon Washington—some mandatorily—to celebrate a fascistic, discredited Supreme Court and the loss of our rights. It’s shameful. And we should not be afraid to say so."

I've admired Tony Dungy ever since he was a star as my alma mater's (Minnesota Gophers) quarterback, 1973-76.

t appears that pro sports has swallowed the woke agenda hook, line, and sinker!

"...Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov enraged leftists by refusing to wear Pride Night gear..."

Your Turn / Epiphany: the ‘Other’ Christmas
« on: January 06, 2023, 07:40:47 AM »
A nice lay LW article. A blessed Epiphany season.

"Epiphany: the ‘Other’ Christmas
January 5, 2022 by John Bombaro

Epiphany is Christmas 2.0. Its conspicuous place following the nativity narrative in Matthew’s Gospel presents it as the “other Christmas,” the “Christmas of the Gentiles.” At the first Christmas we find a swaddled baby in a manger visited by shepherds from the fields summoned by angels. In the “other Christmas,” we find a toddler at His mother’s feet in a house visited by Magi, Wise Men from the East guided by a star. The first Christmas was announced to Israel, the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham; the second Christmas was for the world, the nations, the Gentiles, the fulfillment of God’s promise to Adam.

“Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising,” God said (Isaiah 60:3).

An epiphany
The Greek word epiphany means “appearing,” and in ancient times it was used usually about the appearing of a god or a great king. Some ancient kings thought they were gods. To underscore his divine prowess, Antiochus IV, an ancient Syrian king, took the name Epiphanes after he defeated the Egyptians. But the Maccabean Revolt in Jerusalem exposed his all-too-human vulnerabilities and mortality.

The Magi had come from the east to Jerusalem guided by a star. They were probably Persian court astrologers, stargazers, who looked to the stars for signs, portents and information. The Magi saw what appeared to be a star announcing the birth of a mighty king. While the shepherds of Bethlehem heard the birth announcement from an angel and a heavenly choir, the Persians were given the birth announcement in their own language, so to speak, and in this way anticipate Pentecost and the reversal of Babel’s alienation.

The great reversal
There’s an interesting reversal here. Centuries before, the Judeans had gone into exile in the East, into Babylon. And now the East comes to Judah — stargazers seeking the infant king whose birth star they had seen. They go to Herod’s Jerusalem palace — obviously the right place to inquire about a royal birth in Judah. Herod was the king so the star probably signaled the birth of his son, right?

Wrong. The Wise Men encountered man’s king; the star pointed to God’s King. The kings of men live in palaces, in capital cities, in grandeur. God’s King lives in a humble house, in an unremarkable village, in poverty and humility. Man’s king believes he is a god. God’s King becomes man. Man’s king exercises his power to control those under him. God’s King exercises His power in weakness to save those in His kingdom, a kingdom made up of believing hearts.

In the second Christmas — the Christmas of the Gentiles — we are reminded of God’s not-our-thoughts, not-our-ways hidden way. His is not the way of power and might, not the way of politics and palaces, but the way of poverty, meekness, lowliness and strength exercised in weakness; the way where throne and cross merge into one.

The star brought the Magi to Jerusalem and Herod’s court, but it was the prophetic Scriptures that got them to Bethlehem. “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?” (Matt. 2:2). Herod’s councilors had to look that one up. Herod gathered all the priests and religious scholars and Torah lawyers together and asked them where the King was to be born. And they unrolled the scroll of the Book of the Twelve (Shorter) Prophets to find the answer. And there it was in the prophet Micah: In little Bethlehem, regarded as the “least of all the rulers of Judah” (see Micah 5:2).

Not our ways
Bethlehem. The name means “house of bread.” It was King David’s birthplace and mother Rachel’s burial place. A little afterthought-of-a-town outside of Jerusalem where the real power was. But again, God chooses the lowly and the meek to shame the powerful and the wise; His ways are not our ways nor His thoughts our thoughts; His ways and thoughts subvert man’s ways with an undertow that drags the high and mighty from their thrones and humbles the proud in their conceit. “O little town of Bethlehem.” O little House of Bread. Bethlehem, Judah’s breadbox where the living Bread from heaven came to be born of His Virgin Mother.

So, off the Magi go to Bethlehem, urged on by Herod who wants to kill this threat to his throne, and the star appears again in the sky — a heavenly GPS — giving them great joy because how else would they know where to go? And it guided them to the very house where the Child was. No more manger-crib for this little One; now He is staying with relatives (evidently) in a house. These Persians come up the drive and ring the doorbell — and you can just imagine the amazed look on Mary’s face when she sees all their camels parked on the front lawn, even though Isaiah had spoken of it centuries before: “A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall bring good news, the praises of the Lord” (Isaiah 60:6).

Worship and offering
Even more unusual, these strangers from the east immediately bow down with their foreheads pressed against the ground as soon as they see the Child. And they come with gifts. Gold and frankincense and myrrh. They are costly gifts; the finest things they had, and they offer them to this humble little Child; and they worship Him as God, for God He is.

Ancient kings thought they were gods. But this little King isGod in the flesh, the eternal Son, the Savior, the Son of David. What the Wise Men saw was a little Child, perhaps a year or so old, playing at His Virgin Mother’s feet. But they believed the prophetic Word and the sign of the star, and through the eyes of faith they saw and worshiped the King of kings and offered Him their gifts.

So, the outsiders are now the insiders. Those who stood on the outside of Israel, are now in the presence of Israel’s eternal and greatest King, the promised Son of David. This is that great mystery of which the apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians, how the Gentiles are now fellow heirs with Israel of the promise of salvation in Christ. The first Christmas was for the Jews, the circumcised, the Israelites, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But this “other” Christmas is for the Gentiles, those who were once not God’s people, but who now, by the grace of God in Christ have become the people of God. Epiphany is Christmas for you and all who are afar off."

Your Turn / This Overlooked Midwest City Is Full of Hidden Treasures
« on: December 28, 2022, 09:27:58 AM »
"The real architectural excitement, though, started outside the city center with an afternoon visit to Concordia Theological Seminary, a modernist Nordic village completed in 1958 by the coolest architect of his day, Eero Saarinen. It was Saarinen, architect of the St. Louis Arch and TWA Terminal, who originally brought me to Fort Wayne."

Your Turn / [i]God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen[/i] rewritten
« on: December 23, 2022, 01:01:13 PM »
"English bishop pushes back at rewritten 'woke' Christmas carol sung at 'inclusive' church"

"God rest you queer and questioning, your anxious hearts be still," a line of the amended U.S. version of God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen sung by the All Saints with Holy Trinity choir in Loughborough, England, said, according to The Express, with another saying, "God rest you also, women, who by men have been erased. Through history ignored and scorned, defiled and displaced."

Your Turn / New ALPB book by Carl Braaten
« on: December 12, 2022, 09:14:39 AM »
"Dear ALPB Reader,

The ALPB is pleased to announce a just-released book,  "Saved by Grace through Faith" by Dr. Carl Braaten. 

Bishop Deborah K. Hutterer from the Grand Canyon Synod, ELCA writes: "Carl Braaten argues for a renewed exploration of what it means to be evangelical, catholic, and orthodox through essays and sermons for church festivals and special occasions that hold law and gospel in tension.  Exploring the breadth of his life experience and theological scholarship, he invites readers to consider the foundations of the Lutheran tradition and envision a church that seeks a path to unity around key understandings of justification, confessions, and ecclesiology.  The reader will be challenged and enlightened by many of his insights about the current state of Lutheranism and the church worldwide."   

This book is available for purchase for $16 per book plus postage.  Just use the link above (title of the book) to easily get to it on our website.  If you would like to order by mail, please send payment to ALPB, PO Box 327, Delhi, NY  13753.  Postage will be $3.50 for the first book and then 50 cents for each additional book ordered.  When you are on our website, look at  Dr. Braaten's other three books with us, "A Harvest of Lutheran Dogmatics", "Essential Lutheranism" and "My Ecumenical Journey."   Even better, we offer a package special for all four of Dr. Braaten's books for a total of $55, no postage charge.  We also have books by Robert Jenson, Robert Benne, and  Richard Bansemer.  Check them out!  Any of these books, especially the Braaten Book Package, would make a wonderful gift for a young pastor. 

Please let me know if you have any questions.  Thank you!

In Christ,

Donna K. Roche, Office Manager
American Lutheran Publicity Bureau
P.O. Box 327
Delhi, NY  13753-0327
(607) 746-7511"

Perfect timing!  👍

Your Turn / More from the “You can’t make this stuff up!” news
« on: November 27, 2022, 01:43:43 PM »
“Cambridge dean defends sermon about Jesus' 'trans body,' 'vaginal' side wound blasted as 'heresy'

The sermon likening the wound in Jesus' side to a vagina left congregants 'uncomfortable' and 'in tears'”

"The plaintiffs are three rabbis, a United Church of Christ reverend, a Unitarian Universalist minister, an Episcopal Church priest and a Buddhist lama. They asked the court to declare that the state's abortion law violates Florida and U.S. constitutional protections for freedom of speech and religion.

They also claim the abortion ban violates a Florida religious freedom law that prohibits the government from “substantially burdening” the exercise of religion, unless there is a compelling state interest that cannot be met with fewer restrictions."

"Saint Paul Catholic Church in Lexington posted a copy of the program to its Facebook page saying the service was an apology to the community for 'the Church's lack of respect, compassion, and sensitivity and for unjust discrimination.'..

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that homosexual acts are ''acts of grave depravity.' It says 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered' and they are 'contrary to natural law.'"

"The event will feature sessions on intersectionality, gender dysphoria and 'forbidden queer literature'"

Your Turn / Are the people of Ukraine our neighbor?
« on: March 28, 2022, 12:14:50 AM »
"We should fear and love God so that we do not hurt or harm our neighbour in his body, but help and support him in every physical need."

Should we be doing more?

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