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What Luther Says

Lutherandom Musings Along Memory Lane (Saturday 1/10/15)

Remember when Saturday mornings used to be so much fun when you were a kid?

For me, I'd usually stay up as late as I could the night before (after what I thought was such a "hard" and "long" week at school), and then sleep in as late as I wanted to on Saturday morning.

The best part? Whether Dad would make us breakfast or not (his French Toast!), the even better part of my Saturday mornings growing up was plopping myself down in front of our TV to watch cartoon after cartoon! You know, the kind that were only on once-a-week and not available in an instant through YouTube and/or Netflix?

I thought about that recently and decided it might be cool to come up with a new weekly tradition of sorts for us adults to enjoy each and every Saturday morning now that we're all grown up (ok, at least some of us more than others anyway). I mean, isn't it time for us to look forward to Saturday mornings again?

Besides, it will be good for us to recall that childlike faith in fun and laughter if only for a few moments each week. You'll remember that laughter was, for Luther, a sign of divine grace and also an antidote against the devil too.

From the very beginning, humor had been a theological topic for Martin Luther, embracing the dramatic scope of his whole world view. He himself explained: "When I was unable to chase away the devil with serious words of with the Scripture, I often expelled him with pranks." And so this unique concept is born! Ok, so it's really not all that "cool" or "original" or "fun" to be sure, but it will be our new tradition here, and I'll try to make it worthwhile too. So who's with me then?

Please keep in mind, it won't be flashy, and it will hardly grab and hold your attention like a classic episode of the Care Bears, G.I. Joe, Thundercats, or Voltron would, but these "Lutherandom Musings Along Memory Lane" should satisfy the Confessional Lutheran's appetite for a balanced breakfast that includes your VDMA Vitamins which include Vitamin A (Amusement), Vitamin B (Best of the Blogs), Vitamin C (Confessional), Vitamin D (Doctrine), and Vitamin E (Everything Else).

Each Saturday morning, God willing, I'll do my best to share some of the things I remember coming across in my unpredictable journey through Cyberspace during the week (hence, the "Along Memory Lane" part). For the most part, these will be things I either bookmarked, read, wrote down, and/or simply couldn't get to myself during the week. Of course, this is also where the things you send me via email (if any) will show up too.

Ok, enough with all the "commercials" when all we want is some "cartoons," right? Let's get the show started already, shall we?

8:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN A (AMUSEMENT): Here's a short video clip of a little brother who tells his little sister how it is, which made me laugh, because stuff like this is quickly becoming a regular thing in my home these days!

Not to be trite, but the "My Name Is Donavon, And I'm A Drunk On The Sea Shore" by Pastor Donavon Riley is a very sobering read as well as timely given the other "personal confession" pieces we published earlier in the week.

  This is a really good study on Communion frequency and what the Gospel and the Confessions have to say about the matter from Pastor Klemet Preus. Here's a small taste to whet your appetite a bit: "The Bible never tells us exactly how often to have communion. Of course the Bible never tells us how often to have church services either. And the Bible never tells us how often to receive absolution. The Bible never says at exactly what age to baptize children. There is a reason for this. You can’t place laws and rules upon the gifts of the gospel. God tells us that we are saved in our baptism, in the Gospel and the Lord’s Supper. He never tells us how often to hear his word. He just figures that we will hear it as often as we can. He does not place rules on how often we should be absolved of our sins. He figures that we will take the forgiveness as often as we can. He simply forgives us through the gospel all the time. He never tells us how soon to baptize our babies. He just tells us how much they need it and what a blessing we have in Baptism. He figures we will baptize as early as possible. So also with Holy Communion. He never tells us to receive it daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or once in your life. He simply tells us how much we need it and how great it is and He figures we will act accordingly. Then He tells us to do it often. He figures we will receive the Lord’s Supper as often as we can. The Lord’s Supper is like kissing your wife or husband. The minute you have to place rules on how often, then the kiss loses its affectionate force. No one who is in love would ever say, 'I think we have kissed enough,' or 'That kiss will have to do for the rest of the day.' No one says, 'How often do we have to kiss?' Instead we ask, 'How often do we get to kiss?' We kiss and get kissed as often as we can. The Lord’s Supper is more than a kiss from God. Through Holy Communion God gives us the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation through the body and blood of Jesus. We need and want these blessings all the time. So the question should not be, 'How often do we have to take communion?' Rather we should ask, 'How often do we get to take communion?'"

9:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN D (DOCTRINE): I found myself meditating upon a verse from Matthew 26. Matthew 26:52 (ESV) "Then Jesus said to him, 'Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword.'" Here's what The Lutheran Study Bible (TLSB) has to say about this verse and surrounding text: "Peter had forgotten the blessings of persecution (Matthew 5:10-12). Violence brings down violence on those who practice it. Judas betrays Jesus, but Jesus refuses to allow His disciples to use violence to defend Him. Evil permeates the scene -- there is treachery, cowardice, and false bravado. But the sinless Son of God stands in the midst of these evils and allows these things to take place so He can redeem us."

Two separate but related items to include in this final category today. They both are fantastic reads in response to the recent terrorist attacks in France. The first, a brief commentary by Rev. Mark Surgburg on the tragedy in Paris from the past days, and the second, a letter written by Franz Pieper in 1901 immediately following the assassination of US President William McKinley with this powerful excerpt: "All people, but especially Christians, should recognize that the murderous spirit, which brought about this horrid murderous act, resides in every human heart and therefore must be acknowledged and fought. He who knows our heart described it this way (Mark 7:21-23): 'For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within.' So it is with every heart, also with every American heart. And it does not merely remain a matter of thought. The murderous spirit is so evident in word and deed that it is hard to comprehend."

Sorry, but that's all I have for you this week.

In a Lutheran Layman's terms, you've been fed a balanced spiritual diet this morning so I hope you're full and wide awake and ready to face the day.

Grace and peace to you and yours!

NOTE: I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or a Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this note, I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little over a year ago. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries. I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a dude's diary in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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