Sunday, November 21, 2010

An ice image from the writings of Martin Luther

I am reading From Luther's Epistle Sermons. The text is 1 Peter, chapter one, v. 13-16. The familiar text has St. Peter exhorting the Christian reader to prepare for living the life of faith. "Gird up" are the familiar words.

Luther advises his congregation to prepare for hardship in the faith but he also urges his people not to go crazy about it as some have done. He compares such a person to an ass, a common sort of rhetorical device, I suppose, to engage his audience.

The ridiculous ass in his analogy can become "obstinate and, going on the ice, break a bone."

The point is for a person to maintain self-control and internal discipline.

Since we are iced in in Minnesota I thought that this old German folk image was hilarious. I wonder if there are other examples of an obstinate ass breaking a leg bone in German folk literature.

Iced In on the Last Sunday of the Church Year

Extreme ice in Minnesota is rare but we are stranded. The advice from the TV is 'No Travel' so we are complying with that advice.

I am using my iPad this morning. I have added some interesting things from the iStore in recent weeks.

From The Wittenberg Project I have added several volumes of Luther's Works. These are free. I have : On Christian Liberty, Treatise on Good Works, a volume of Epistle Sermons, and the 95 Theses. The Concordia Triglotta is also available at no charge.

My Lectionary is the very reasonably priced Lectionary for iPad.

To keep an open and balanced mind, I have also bought 'God Is Not Great' by Christopher Hitchins. One need not fear sliding into atheism by reading this author. Don't be deceived by book titles.

Friday, November 19, 2010

still more Buxtehude

Dieterich Buxtehude (1637-1707)

Alles, was ihr tut mit Worten oder mit Werken
Cantata BuxWV 4
1. Sonata
2. Alles, was ihr tut (Coro)
3. Sonata
4. Dir, o Höchster, dir alleine (Aria)
5. Habe deine Lust (Basso)
6. Gott will ich lassen raten (Coro)

Andreas Wolf, bass
Wiebke Lehmkuhl, alto
Collegium Cartusianum
Kölner Kammerchor
Peter Neumann, conductor

Recorded at Auditorium Eisenach, Nantes, 2009

'Te Deum Laudamus' - Buxtehude

Buxtehude - 'Mit Fried Und Freud'

Buxtehude does 'Wachet Auf'

Embedding is not allowed but try this link.  It's a pretty exciting piece of music.  I did not know that Buxtehude had done 'Wachet Auf.'

BWV 645

Zion Hort Die Wachter Singen

It's That Time of the Church Year - Wachet Auf

Bach - Cantata BWV 140 - Choir -Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme.
Conductor Karl richter.
Interpretation - Munich Bach Choir,munich bach orchestra.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

On the burning bush

The text for Pastor's Sunday sermon was Luke 20:27-38.  It was the trick-question, Jesus-baiting sequence about all of those people who were married to each other.    Whose wife would this woman be when all seven of her husbands were dead?

The answer was, of course, that God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

The text contains a reference to Abraham and the near-sacrifice of his son Isaac.  "But in the account of the burning bush...."

This reminded me that I have a book in my personal library on the subject of Abraham that I should read.  The cite is:   Delaney, Carol.  "Abraham On Trial   The Social  Legacy of Biblical Myth,"  Princeton NJ:  Princeton University Press, 1998.  313 pp

This Biblical event is a major consideration for Christians, Jews, and Muslims.  How do these religious expressions deal with this matter?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

one more performance by Giovanni Vianini - 'Christ ist erstanden'

'Herzlich thut mich verlangen'

'O Mensech, bewein'

'Wir glauben all' an einen Gott'

Tea Party and Religious Fervor - Michelle Bachmann #2

The way to understand the Tea Party movement, according to author Freedman, is to understand the role of religion in the thinking of its adherents.  The Constitution, for example, is not seen as a "political phenomenon" but is understood "through the prism of religion."

" 'There's a strong stand of divine-guidance thinking, thinking about American exceptionalism,' says Mary Beth Norton, a professor of early American history at Cornell University.  'People have certainly seen the texts of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as the equivalent of a secular religion, with the idea that you can't challenge these texts.' "

Bachmann appeals to a group of voters who feel that the modern world has forsaken the principles of American constitutionalism.  She finds support among people who fear the modern world and see religious faith undermined by secularism.  She finds support among the anti-abortion people who would have Roe v. Wade overturned because it is a violation of Natural Law.

Bachmann's political views are her own and people may accept or reject them.  What is remarkable for this Lutheran is how people of her persuasion would make her political views binding upon the consciences of those Lutherans (like myself) who don't agree with her.

Tea Party and Religious Fervor - Michelle Bachmann

Samuel G. Freedman had a perceptive piece in Saturday's New York Times about the ideological underpinnings of the Tea Party movement.

The piece caught my eye because it was well-written and it also described how Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann might see politics.

Bachmann is a Lutheran and a Lutheran member of Congress is nothing new here in Minnesota.   I would guess that almost all of the previous Lutheran members of Congress came from the ELCA which some consider to be the state church of Minnesota.  Bachmann is unusual in that she is a WELS Lutheran.  Her campaign manager is, I believe, a member of the ELS.  Truth in blogging requires me to state that I am a member of a congregation affiliated with the ELS.

I reside in the 3rd Minnesota Congressional District and so I was not able to vote against Ms. Bachmann in the recently concluded election.

Bachmann's gerrymandered 6th district has re-elected her again.  I think that Ms. Bachmann wouldn't stand a chance if she ran for office in the metropolitan Twin Cities.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I'm back with more Bach

I've been gone for a few weeks.  My son was married last month in Brooklyn NY and we've just recently returned to our home in suburban Minneapolis.