Archive for January, 2013

Some thoughts on Hell: From the Inside

January 31, 2013

I have previously addressed the topic of eternal punishment. Here is an excellent sermon Scot McKnight included on his Jesus Creed blog.

A sermon by Jason Micheli, pastor at Aldersgate United Methodist in Alexandria, VA.

From the Inside.

Collect for the Sunday called Septuagesima, or the third Sunday before Lent

January 29, 2013

O LORD, we beseech thee favourably to hear the prayers of thy people; that we, who are justly punished for our offences, may be mercifully delivered by thy goodness, for the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who liveth and, reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

Little Rock Museum to exhibit George Washington’s inaugural Bible

January 28, 2013

So, I have a little riddle for all my Bible know-it- all friends (and all of my personal pals who already, like me, know the answer just better shut up!) Do you suppose that this KJV Bible owned and used by that great Evangelical George Washington (OK, I am getting carried away with myself), who was also an Anglican, just might happen to contain the “other” books also read by Roman Catholics?

The link follows this slice from the Democrat-Gazette story.

The Historic Arkansas Museum said George Washington’s inaugural Bible will be on display for a limited time in February. The bible will be on exhibit from 5-8 p.m. Feb. 8 and from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 9.

The bible is on loan from St. John’s Lodge No. 1 in New York, and will be featured as part of Historic Arkansas Museum’s coming exhibit, Treasures of Arkansas Freemasons, 1838-2013. The exhibit will run Feb. 8 through July 12 in the Study Gallery.

Washington’s inaugural bible was used in the inaugural ceremonies of Warren G. Harding, Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush.

Museum to exhibit George Washington’s inaugural Bible.

2013 Inauguration: the shape of things to come #Obama #inauguration

January 21, 2013

Today, Evangelical America was figuratively transported across Tokyo harbor to the decks of the USS Missouri. Taking on the role of General MacArthur, President Barack Obama announced the consequences of our defeat. The bitter pill was all wrapped in the most pleasant language of love and equality. Apparently, those of differing opinions will still be allowed to reside with the USA.

Talk about chickens coming home to roost. All the hateful name calling, shallow biblical interpretations, threats, arrogance, and misplaced superiority have been delivered back to sender with shipping charges due. The Christian failure to love and understand is being repaid. America believes that religions, and especially the Christian variety, is part of the problem of intolerance and division. The culture wars are at an end and we are in a situation similar to ancient Judah after having been overrun by Babylonians.

If you think this little commentary is a longing for a return to Christian America, forget it. The United States is not a Christian nation, was not founded as a Christian nation (although religious dissidents flourish here), and is more connected to the increased possession of personal wealth than sincerely professing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Americans believe in Christianity, so long as it does not cost them anything.
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A Prayer and Readings for Inauguration Day

January 21, 2013

Although the traditional American  Book of Common Prayer provides prayer and readings for Thanksgiving and Fourth of July, there is no such service for Inauguration Day. Here, are some collects taken from Evening Prayer and the “Prayers and Thanksgivings” section that might fill the gap.

A Prayer for The President of the United States, and all in Civil Authority.

ALMIGHTY God, whose kingdom is everlasting and power infinite; Have mercy upon this whole land; and so rule the hearts of thy servants THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, The Governor of this State, and all others in authority, that they, knowing whose ministers they are, may above all things seek thy honour and glory; and that we and all the People, duly considering whose authority they bear, may faithfully and obediently honour them, according to thy blessed Word and ordinance; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

For Our Country.

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favour and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honourable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogancy, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A reading from Deuteronomy 17.

    “When you come to the land that the LORD your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,’ you may indeed set a king over you whom the LORD your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the LORD has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’ And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.
“And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.
(Deuteronomy 17:14-20 ESV)

A reading from Romans 13.

    Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (Romans 13:1-7 ESV)

Collect for the Epiphany

January 7, 2013

O GOD, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; Mercifully grant that we, who know thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of thy glorious Godhead; through* Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for the Circumcision of Christ

January 1, 2013

ALMIGHTY God, who madest thy blessed Son to be circumcised, and obedient to the law for man; Grant us the true circumcision of the Spirit; that, our hearts, and all our members, being mortified from all worldly and carnal lusts, we may in all things obey thy blessed will; through time same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.