Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Gerasene Demoniac

Today's Gospel is a great one for those who identify with "before and after" pictures:
  • Weight-loss programmes (note the proper spelling!) a la Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers
  • Home / garden transformations a la Changing Rooms, Backyard Blitz
  • Political advertising (Hey, this is an election year!)
  • Naked, Demon-possessed, tomb-living man becomes clothed, sane, man at Jesus' feet.
It's a great Law / Gospel vehicle, but there's a strong Gospel imperative once again. Last week, the devotion of the woman "who had led a sinful life" gave a very strong challenge - how much do we love? This week, "Return to your home and declare how much God has done for you" (Lk 8:39) is similarly inviting response.

If we are not daily, even continuously, singing Psalms of praise and thanksgiving to declare how much God has done for us, can we really claim to be cleaned and saved?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Mythical MythTV

At this point in time, the Myth box has become unreality, not even myth!

1.   The cheap card I have doesn't encode, so I don't really have enough grunt in the processor (450-MHz PIII) to adequately use it as a PVR
2.   The Electronic Program Guide is not likely to work well, because of Australian free-to-air tv copyrighting of programming information.

However, I can (and do) have a small window (relative to my 1600x1200 desktop on a 21 inch CRT) with live TV from time to time.  This is, of course, at home, in the home office, not here at work, in the church office.

At some future stage, a Haupage PVR card with twin digital TV tuners and encoders is a nice dream!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Face To Face

Lutheran Media Ministry's Face To Face is no longer heard on Sunday mornings on our local radio station. But 30-second and 1-minute spots are much more frequent and often heard at the top of the hour when people tune in to catch the news or weather.

The ability to get the programme via podcast or merely to download the audio (or text) or to listen live is great.

My only reservation is the elderly, especially the lonely and shut-in, who hitherto have been able to listen, and may now be excluded because they have no PC with internet connection.

Luke 7:11-17 - life and death

Whilst wrestling with this text during the course of the week I often found myself caught in the question that some of those who hear the text may reasonably ask: "Why didn't Jesus stop the funeral procession and bring to life my son/daughter/husband/wife/father/mother?"

Yet for each individual, the impact of the text is properly not so much my loved one is dead - for almost everyone alive can say that - but I am dead.

Understood this way, the Gospel message is not of Jeus raising a loved one, but raising us!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Back from Continuing Education

For those of my parishioners who follow my travels, you will know that I've been in Melbourne Tuesday-Thursday this week at the District Continuing Education for Pastors / Lay Workers.

While the presenters were engaging, the most memorable elements of the three days for me had to do with our worship in the chapel (very sensitively planned and led- three cheers to Stephen Pietsch & Sue Westhorp) and the heating at Holy Cross centre (too hot and dry, resulting in dehydration, headaches, and drowsiness).

Then again, the late nights augmented with port probably didn't help the drowsiness, either!


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Tainted Trinitarian Thelology Trouble

Tomorrow being Trinity Sunday, or The Feast of The Holy Trinity I have considered most of this week the state of Trinitarian Theology.  On Wednesday morning I used a school drama resource to show the school staff at the devotion I lead how easy it is to fall into a modalistic heresy.  Then, also Wednesday, I led the Pastors in the Wimmera/Mallee Zone in confessing the Athanasian Creed.

Hitherto, I have always used the Athanasian Creed on Trinity Sunday in its entirety.  I note with some concern, however, that our own LCA Worship Resources encourage the ommission of parts pf the Creed if used during a divine service.  The bits to be missed - those that condemn unbelief in what is confessed in the creed.

It seems akin to the Revised Common Lectionary skipping over verses in the Psalms that damn evildoers, or skipping Revelation 22:18-19, and thus ironically fulfilling them.

The Trinitarian Theology we have is the result of much labour to avoid heresy - to incautiously cast some of it aside is to flirt with disaster.