Author Topic: Christ Is Risen!  (Read 3165 times)

readselerttoo

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2020, 07:01:50 PM »
Pastor Kirchner writes:
Have some Cheetos and grape juice. You'll "feel" better, Charles. 
I comment:
Sorry, Pastor Kirchner, the "winky" emoji does not cover the tone-deaf, cold, unfeeling nature of that response.
   Don't know about your life, but in my life we are shut off from most human contact. Beloved Spouse and I are unable to do most of the things that brighten and enlighten us. We are worried about friends and family in the epicenter of the pandemic, and still adjusting to this damn Minnesota winter, which is right now dumping four or five inches of snow on the spinach we planted on our balcony.
   Let me say it straight. I'm not feeling very "Easter" right now. Tomorrow doesn't look good, either.
   When I wrote "Yes, Christ has risen. But to be honest, today it’s going to be hard to feel as if we have," it was a serious statement about seriously feeling bad. Oh, wait, I forgot, feelings don't matter. So I guess your snarky comment connected to a matter of serious disagreement between us felt funny to you.   
   Not to me.
   Everyone have a good day.
.

But, Rev. Austin, your feelings do not change the fact: He is risen!   And that fact is enough to give real joy, right?


The joy at the birth of a child doesn't remove the pain of giving birth - or surgery if that was necessary. There is pain in the loss of human contact. Why do you discount that? There is even more pain at the death of friends and parents. Belief in the resurrection doesn't remove the loss that we feel. It's been 20 years since my dad died. I still feel the loss. There is no joy in the fact that I cannot see or talk or hug him like I used to.


Even before Mark Allen Powell commented on it, I had heard about translating Matthew 28:17 as: "they worshiped him and they doubted." Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson described the ELCA as the church of the "and": "saint AND sinner" among many illustrations. We can rejoice AND feel pain. It's seldom all of one thing. The largest genre of psalms are the laments - not praise nor thanksgiving. Our human experience is often one of laments. Easter doesn't change that.


I have heard this from you before.  But the grammar and force of the narrative in the New Testament  points to the fact that there is a giving away from fear, sadness and disbelief to confidence, assurance, joy and belief that Christ and the Spirit grant since the Easter Day resurrection of Christ.  The "feeling" is joy in the recognition that one has found their Savior personally who leads them forward not in fear but in hope.  The force and direction of the narrative after Jesus' death on the cross and beginning at the empty tomb is a life-going-forward-in joy that the Savior is indeed alive as He is always for us and never against us.  The appearance stories in and of themselves take disciples away from their sadness (think Cleopas and his friend or even Thomas) into immediate joy because they recognize the Person Jesus has returned and can never die again.  He is permanently with them always even to the end of time.  Here is where I leave depression for hope and God urges me to continue in that path and I suppose you can say that this is a witness from a disciple.

I remain committed to moving away from those who write as Mark Allan Powell et. al. who seem to have a special twitch for dwindling on elements in the NT text which only point one to remain where one is at (when the actual literal text goes further), ie. disbelief/unbelief when the nature of the narrative is to move beyond and never to be satisfied where one is at ie. remaining in fear, etc.  Powell and his kind want to leave us skeptical and lifeless.

The mission activity of both Peter and Paul in the Acts of the Apostles and witnessed by Paul himself in his letters is to never be satisfied to be where one is at in their faith in Christ but to move others toward joy and more joy that the Person Christ is risen bodily and that death no longer has dominion over Him.  He is personally with us now beyond death and leading us to live abundantly lives now because that is our future never to end.  What has been done in this reconciliatory act of Christ in his death and resurrection is for others to open others toward life and more life, that is, abundant life.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 07:10:49 PM by readselerttoo »

Eileen Smith

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2020, 08:47:02 PM »
Pastor Kirchner writes:
Have some Cheetos and grape juice. You'll "feel" better, Charles. 
I comment:
Sorry, Pastor Kirchner, the "winky" emoji does not cover the tone-deaf, cold, unfeeling nature of that response.
   Don't know about your life, but in my life we are shut off from most human contact. Beloved Spouse and I are unable to do most of the things that brighten and enlighten us. We are worried about friends and family in the epicenter of the pandemic, and still adjusting to this damn Minnesota winter, which is right now dumping four or five inches of snow on the spinach we planted on our balcony.
   Let me say it straight. I'm not feeling very "Easter" right now. Tomorrow doesn't look good, either.
   When I wrote "Yes, Christ has risen. But to be honest, today it’s going to be hard to feel as if we have," it was a serious statement about seriously feeling bad. Oh, wait, I forgot, feelings don't matter. So I guess your snarky comment connected to a matter of serious disagreement between us felt funny to you.   
   Not to me.
   Everyone have a good day.
.

But, Rev. Austin, your feelings do not change the fact: He is risen!   And that fact is enough to give real joy, right?


The joy at the birth of a child doesn't remove the pain of giving birth - or surgery if that was necessary. There is pain in the loss of human contact. Why do you discount that? There is even more pain at the death of friends and parents. Belief in the resurrection doesn't remove the loss that we feel. It's been 20 years since my dad died. I still feel the loss. There is no joy in the fact that I cannot see or talk or hug him like I used to.


Even before Mark Allen Powell commented on it, I had heard about translating Matthew 28:17 as: "they worshiped him and they doubted." Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson described the ELCA as the church of the "and": "saint AND sinner" among many illustrations. We can rejoice AND feel pain. It's seldom all of one thing. The largest genre of psalms are the laments - not praise nor thanksgiving. Our human experience is often one of laments. Easter doesn't change that.

And yet many of the Psalms of lament turn to praise.

Eileen Smith

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2020, 09:22:56 PM »
I wonder how we are defining joy.  Is it returning to a life we had just about four weeks ago?  Attending church, visiting friends, grocery shopping, school?  I'm not convinced that's the joy one finds with Easter.  Some Easters are difficult.  The Easter after 9/11 was particularly hard.  Today I shed a lot of tears as I watched services at my church and then at my husband's to find that the Mass was given in his memory.  I may not feel what the world might define as joyful, I am joy-filled; I am content.  Like so many of you I'm restricted in my movements about town and even to not having people in my home.  Just today someone asked if I was going crazy.  I'm not.  I'm content.   The reading from John, singing "Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds" and "Jesus Christ is Risen Today" brought joy.  Even though I was singing alone I knew the members of my congregation were singing with me.  That gives me a sense of peace, again, contentment.  People are definitely suffering.  Jobs have been lost.  I wonder about those for whom this isolation is exacerbating an already difficult situation - people in abusive relationships, those who suffer from addiction.  People on the front lines are staying in hotels, free of charge, as they are afraid to go home to their families.  And yet, in the midst of this we're still able to say, "Christ is Risen."  We live in the assurance of those words and we may not always seem giddy with joy certainly we have contentment and peace. 

Dave Likeness

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2020, 10:05:57 PM »
Eileen..Happiness is usually defined within the limits of getting the things in life we want.
Happiness is dependent on our outward circumstances.  We got that job promotion, we
bought a new car or house,  wonderful vacation trip, family life is running smoothly.

Joy describes a Christian who is in the right relationship with our Lord.  We have Faith
in Jesus Christ and the gifts  He has bestowed on us...Forgiveness of sins, eternal life,
Holy Scriptures and the Sacraments.  Joy is not dependent on our outward circumstances.
We can still have joy in the Lord when we get a job demotion, drive a car that has 100,000
miles on it, a house that needs plenty of repairs, family problems , or even poor personal heath.

The joy of Easter can belong to a Christian regardless of the situation we are currently facing.
We have the promises of God and and His steadfast love and faithfulness toward us.
Yes, Christ is Risen.   He is alive and a part of our life even in difficult circumstances.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 10:11:13 PM by Dave Likeness »

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2020, 02:04:44 AM »
I have heard this from you before.  But the grammar and force of the narrative in the New Testament  points to the fact that there is a giving away from fear, sadness and disbelief to confidence, assurance, joy and belief that Christ and the Spirit grant since the Easter Day resurrection of Christ.  The "feeling" is joy in the recognition that one has found their Savior personally who leads them forward not in fear but in hope.  The force and direction of the narrative after Jesus' death on the cross and beginning at the empty tomb is a life-going-forward-in joy that the Savior is indeed alive as He is always for us and never against us.  The appearance stories in and of themselves take disciples away from their sadness (think Cleopas and his friend or even Thomas) into immediate joy because they recognize the Person Jesus has returned and can never die again.  He is permanently with them always even to the end of time.  Here is where I leave depression for hope and God urges me to continue in that path and I suppose you can say that this is a witness from a disciple.


The boldface is a particular theme in Matthew - the only gospel where Jesus is called Immanuel: God with us. In Luke/Acts, there is the ascension. Jesus is no longer with the disciples, but he promises to send the Holy Spirit, a power that will drive them out to the ends of the earth as witnesses. That happened at Pentecost.


While John as no ascension account, Jesus tells Mary that he is going to his Father. In his farewell discourse, Jesus talks about leaving the disciples, but in order that he might send the Spirit. From what we read in John, there was a week where the risen Christ was not with his disciples. Thomas should have believed the witness of the others, but he didn't. The resurrection didn't mean that Jesus was always with them (or us) - at least in Luke and John.

Quote
I remain committed to moving away from those who write as Mark Allan Powell et. al. who seem to have a special twitch for dwindling on elements in the NT text which only point one to remain where one is at (when the actual literal text goes further), ie. disbelief/unbelief when the nature of the narrative is to move beyond and never to be satisfied where one is at ie. remaining in fear, etc.  Powell and his kind want to leave us skeptical and lifeless.


You are wrong about Powell. He writes the following in Chasing the Eastern Star

… I remember a seminar I attended in college. A large African-American man had two big signs up front. One read, “Jesus Christ accepts you the way you are.” the other said, “Jesus Christ will change your life.” Both are biblical and both are good news, the speaker affirmed. “So why is it that you Lutherans equate the gospel with one sign and not the other? You say, ‘Jesus will change my life? Well, that’s nice, but the really good news is that he accepts me the way I am!’ You get so excited that Jesus will accept you as you are that, after a while, some of us begin to wonder whether this isn’t because you plan on staying the way you are – whether Jesus will change you or not. Now, where I come from, in the inner city, I know some folks who – if you tell them, ‘Jesus accepts you the way you are’ – will respond, ‘Well, that’s nice of him, but the fact is I don’t really like being the way I am. My life isn’t so good. It’s nice that Jesus loves me even though I’m poor and hungry and my life is a mess, but you know what some really good news would be?” Really good news would be if he’d change my life so that I don’t have to be this way.’” [p. 181]

Quote
The mission activity of both Peter and Paul in the Acts of the Apostles and witnessed by Paul himself in his letters is to never be satisfied to be where one is at in their faith in Christ but to move others toward joy and more joy that the Person Christ is risen bodily and that death no longer has dominion over Him.  He is personally with us now beyond death and leading us to live abundantly lives now because that is our future never to end.  What has been done in this reconciliatory act of Christ in his death and resurrection is for others to open others toward life and more life, that is, abundant life.

Again, it is not an either/or situation; but a both/and. God accepts us the way we are, "warts and all," as they say; AND, God is working in our lives to make us more Christ-like. While Paul's letter to the Philippians is full of joy, there is also a tinge of sadness as he is sitting in prison. He's been sick. He might die. He might not see them again.

When my father was dying of cancer over 8 months, there was no joy in seeing him wither away. Yes, there is a seed of joy and great hope in the resurrection of the dead; but that doesn't change the sadness, despair, and frustration of being able to do nothing to relieve his suffering and growing weakness.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 02:26:14 AM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #35 on: April 13, 2020, 02:10:46 AM »
Pastor Kirchner writes:
Have some Cheetos and grape juice. You'll "feel" better, Charles. 
I comment:
Sorry, Pastor Kirchner, the "winky" emoji does not cover the tone-deaf, cold, unfeeling nature of that response.
   Don't know about your life, but in my life we are shut off from most human contact. Beloved Spouse and I are unable to do most of the things that brighten and enlighten us. We are worried about friends and family in the epicenter of the pandemic, and still adjusting to this damn Minnesota winter, which is right now dumping four or five inches of snow on the spinach we planted on our balcony.
   Let me say it straight. I'm not feeling very "Easter" right now. Tomorrow doesn't look good, either.
   When I wrote "Yes, Christ has risen. But to be honest, today it’s going to be hard to feel as if we have," it was a serious statement about seriously feeling bad. Oh, wait, I forgot, feelings don't matter. So I guess your snarky comment connected to a matter of serious disagreement between us felt funny to you.   
   Not to me.
   Everyone have a good day.
.

But, Rev. Austin, your feelings do not change the fact: He is risen!   And that fact is enough to give real joy, right?


The joy at the birth of a child doesn't remove the pain of giving birth - or surgery if that was necessary. There is pain in the loss of human contact. Why do you discount that? There is even more pain at the death of friends and parents. Belief in the resurrection doesn't remove the loss that we feel. It's been 20 years since my dad died. I still feel the loss. There is no joy in the fact that I cannot see or talk or hug him like I used to.


Even before Mark Allen Powell commented on it, I had heard about translating Matthew 28:17 as: "they worshiped him and they doubted." Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson described the ELCA as the church of the "and": "saint AND sinner" among many illustrations. We can rejoice AND feel pain. It's seldom all of one thing. The largest genre of psalms are the laments - not praise nor thanksgiving. Our human experience is often one of laments. Easter doesn't change that.

And yet many of the Psalms of lament turn to praise.


Many don't. The basic outline of Psalms of Lament is:

1. invocation – call upon God to catch his ear
2. lamentation – what’s wrong
3. supplication / petition – always in imperative
4. motivation – statement of trust or confidence
     a. move God to act on the petition
     b. motivation to get psalmist to move
5. vow – response of worshipper to his deity – promise to make a sacrifice

In many cases, it is a later Psalm of Thanksgiving that was sung after the particular issue that caused the lament was resolved. This is when the earlier vow is fulfilled. The basic outline of Psalms of Thanksgiving is:

1. introduction
     a. call to get God’s attention
     b. asking others to join in thanksgiving
2. narration
     a. talks about affliction, reiterate lamentation
     b. talks about calling upon God
     c. talks about God answering the prayer
3. acknowledgement
     a. elaboration of God’s help
     b. a confession of trust
4. thankoffering
     a. paying of vow,
     b. sacrifice may have taken place at this time

"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Charles Austin

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #36 on: April 13, 2020, 09:25:27 AM »
We read the Psalms from their future. At the time of the great laments, I’m not sure the one lamenting saw a happy outcome. The lamentor was wondering what the heck God could possibly be doing, if anything.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Dave Benke

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #37 on: April 14, 2020, 10:48:33 AM »
From the perspective of the Psalms as the prayer book of God's people for 3000 years, lamentation happens more than once in any person's life.  Laments are periodic, for a season, and in terms of a lifetime of seasons, for many different seasons.  And the end of those laments as indicated is the trust and confidence that weeping lasts for a night, but joy comes in the morning.  So it's a both-and.  The person lamenting has in many cases been through this more than once, and has seen the hand of God's mercy.  In the middle of the storm, it's not visible, but the confidence remains that the hand of God's mercy is extended.

I can say that helps get me through.  In terms of public disaster, from the devastating drug wars of the 1980s/90s to the terror of 9/11 to the devastation of Superstorm Sandy up until the present, God's hand of mercy and power, comfort and strength has not failed.  Not easy to see as the deadly enemy invades, but always there nonetheless and received in due time.

Try this from Luther College:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFS54gAprUA.

Dave Benke