Μεγαλύνει ἡ ψυχή μου τὸν Κύριον [Luke 1. 46b]

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Saint John 16. 5-15
CANTATE: 28 April Anno Domini 2013
Fr. Jay William Watson SSP

In The Name + of Jesus

   Your sinful Old Adam always questions Jesus and His under-shepherds. Your sinful self always whines, accuses others, makes excuses for itself, and does exactly what it wants—eschewing any corrective help.  The Law of Jesus doesn’t mollycoddle your rebel rants fueled by Satan but simply says “NO…thus saith the LORD…thou shalt not…the wages of YOUR sin is death.” Look in the mirror.  How’s that self-reliance stuff working for you?  You like independence and spiritual freedom? So did the prodigal son, so did the Israelites who died in the desert…and so does the wino atheist in the cardboard box…for a while.

   But your saint misses home, craves family, and seeks embrace and warmth of tender, protective and caring arms. Your saint needs love and acceptance. Your new man wants forgiveness and peace more than anything!

   Your believing regenerated Royal Priest does not ask where Jesus “goest,” or where He is!  The initial shock of not seeing Him as Saint John, the Blessed Virgin and the Magdalene saw Him does cause some initial sorrow within your heart; but not overpowering grief or despair.  Jesus has seen to that—to your joy and sustenance! Jesus has sent you not a comforter, or some comfort; He has sent you THE COMFORTER!  Jesus has given you God the Holy Ghost in all His fullness. The 3rd Person of the Holy Trinity is yours always!

   To be sure, the Holy Spirit is also invisible to your fleshly eyes. But that’s okay. Even as your eyes over the course of 50, 60, 70, 80 years and more become dimmer and more prone to cataracts, glaucoma, map-dot dystrophy, and just dimming like Saint Father Isaac’s eyes grew dark…your spiritual eyes behold the Holy Ghost in all His purity forever and ever.  This “Paraclete” (i.e. “stand besider”) is your advocate and guarantee that you have Jesus at all times and most especially in His Word and His Eucharist.  This Paraclete makes His home in your body. Yes, the Holy Ghost dwells, tabernacles inside you, like the billowing cloud of the pre-incarnate Christ, of the Trinity, filled the Tabernacle, incensed the Temple, hovered over the Ark of the Covenant in the Sanctum Sanctorum!  The Spirit fills you with the Word, and thus fills you with the Word Made Flesh—JESUS!

   The Holy Ghost is your life-in-Christ! The Spirit is your daily remembrance of your Holy + Washing—your Baptism!  The Spirit is the life of Jesus in His Church—His Body of Saints—brothers and sisters.  The Spirit is the Lord’s life and presence through His under-shepherds whom He sends to feed you Himself—to preach Him, to teach Him, to distribute Him!

   The Holy Spirit is here…listen! He speaks through the mouths of His servants the Word of the Savior! All the many things Jesus has for you: hear! Glorify God and rejoice this happy morning. Jesus lives! HE IS RISEN: HE IS RISEN INDEED HALLELUJAH!

   Come to Me all ye that are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.  It is by faith through the loving grace of Jesus that you believe and trust.

   No, you won’t become younger and stronger. No, you won’t have your deceased parents back or your diseases taken away. No you won’t be wealthy and powerful and loved by the world, with all your cares lifted off like a genie from Westinghouse or G.E. making your life-style easier.

   But you are carried by the Comforter to the High Altar of God. You are seated in the finest thrones before the Sacrifice which is no longer only an historical Atoning Passover, but a Supper of Life and Eternity. He Who was sacrificed lives.

In The Name of The Father and of The + Son and of The Holy Ghost

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Cemetery Poem

[with apologies to Rudyard Kipling]


As we observe our Church yard graves
Our sanctified eyes do perceive
The resting of that elect host
Most beloved Saints we still grieve
Grace, peace, and mercy Christ gives them now
Our tears do not show loss
These warriors from the Lamb’s own fold
Are golden without dross
And Saints thus always pray
How long Oh Lord—come quickly
Bring resurrection day

- Jay W. Watson
24 April Anno Domini 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Saint John 16. 16-23
JUBILATE: 21 April Anno Domini 2013
Fr Jay Watson SSP

In The + Name of Jesus

   The Lord’s “going to the Father” is not His leaving you.  When Christ went to the Father He was transitioning His servanthood from a merely, and only localized, Judean presence to a Church-wide presence. His “going” was to be only in a corporeal visible way but not in a physically abandoning way.

   The Disciples would no longer “see” Him with their eyes, in a ‘local’ presence (circumscribed by dimensions of 6 by 3 by 2 ft) every minute of the day as they had for the previous three-years, but now would see Him with the eyes of faith when they were gathered by His Holy Ghost around His Words and His Supper. He is present, really, truly, factually, physically, in His Sacramental Presence.  The bread is His Body and the wine is His Blood.  And the Words are His Being—the Nazarene!

   The Christ’s prediction of “going to the Father” was not about a journey of miles; it was not a trip to a distant place—an outer-space heaven; the God-Man was going to shortly ascend into the inter-cooperative & loving penetrative relationship of the Holy Trinity. Where the Father was—omnipresent everywhere, soon the God-Man, Jesus of Nazareth would be!

   Because you all hurt so badly and need a Savior Who is there with you to help you, to take care of you, to defend you, and make things better, He will go to The Father.

   James and John, Andrew and Peter did not want to lose the visible presence of their dear Master.  There “loss” in a visible sense, is your gain in an actual reality.  The Lord steps back from only a face-to-face with Matthew to put His pierced hands and arms around ALL His Disciples.  Jesus’ going away is simply Him rearranging Himself to give a group-hug.  And more than a hug, a peace and a joy that surpasses human understanding.

   The “little whiles” of seeming abandonment, of visual loneliness are just that “little whiles.”  The “little whiles” of tears, bodily degeneration, heart-aches, and loss of loved ones are just that “little whiles.”  And thank the Lord that the times of sin, sinning: rolling eyes in disdain and contempt at others, name calling, grudge holding, lusting, provoking and disobeying the Word of the Lord, are also “little whiles.”  Thank the Lord that even in these periods of defeat and shame that He hears your confession and pronounces His absolution.

   One little while is now over—your fast from Sunday last.  Your own tribulations in the desert this past week have now come to an end at this point in the march of time; at this oasis in the Tents of God, you are carried to His table to receive His meal. His dinner is Himself and all that He is. Here you are cooled from the heat by His shade and nourished from starvation by His Meat and Drink—His Body and Blood.

   He promises you not worldly happiness or worldly solutions.  You and your neighbor are there/here to love and serve, to help and provide physical aide, support, money, goods, time and companionship to your less fortunate and hurting neighbors—especially those of the ‘Household of Faith.’  God doesn’t need your works, but your neighbor does!  But, even now your heart, that is your soul—your New Man, rejoices with supernal and divine joy because your Lord and God comes to you and says “Peace;” blesses you with “This is My Body for you.”  You are forgiven.  And you are also forgiven that you despise sometimes, and trivialize most-times, the very notion of forgiveness. Believe the Lord; you need to be forgiven and cleansed. 

   And in Him, you no longer stink with the rancid and putrid odor of death but rather fill the sanctuary and adorn the altar with the sweet scent of myrrh, aloe, cassia, sandalwood, lily, frankincense and Trinitarian love.

In The Name of The Father and of The + Son and of The Holy Ghost

Thursday, April 18, 2013

TOP FIVE Snafus for Early LC-MS [sic] - - -



5.   A crypto Montanist woman among the Perry County settlers said that someday, the initials “L.C.M.S” would mean: liberals praying with charismatics, Muslims and Sikhs.  She was laughed out of the assembly.

4.  Even back in 1837, them Deutsch had a weird preoccupation with color schemes and logos.  Irving Walther pushed for a salmon colored upside down ankh as the synod’s first official seal. 

3.  In the not-as-famous and under-reported Altenburg Rumble, not only did Vehse defeat Walther again in verbal jousting, but beat him like a pinata during their boxing match (9th round TKO).

2.  During the up-river Mississippi barge rides, all (ALL) of the Saxon’s beer and schnapps supplies were lost in a raid by river boat pirates.


[ Drum Roll Please]


And the NUMBER ONE REASON the Saxon Lutherans Got Off  To A Very, Very Bad Start:

1.  Bishop Stephan’s Mitre, being way too large for CFW’s tiny pin-head, Walther reluctantly said: “screw it…let’s go with the goof-ball mob democracy gambit.”

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


 This is a not a guest-post in the sense that my friend, the Rev'd Fr. Richard Futrell did not write the following for MEGALUNEI. Rather, since both he and I are members of the Society of Saint Polycarp (SSP), we see each others posts and comments over on our own chat-board. When I read Fr. Rich's marvelous piece on Saint Mary of Nazareth, Mother of God, I just knew that I HAD to post it on this blog. He graciously and generously (per his character) granted me permission to "run it" here! But please, go (surf over) and check out his own wonderful web-site wherein he FIRST posted his observations earlier today.
   As members of the Society of Saint Polycarphttp://societyofsaintpolycarp.blogspot.com/  ) both Father Futrell and myself do hold to the Lutheran default position on Saint Mary (c.f. Pieper, Dogamatics, Volume II) as SEMPER VIRGO.  I urge the other 99.9999% of Lutherans who no longer believe what Luther, Gerhard, Chemnitz and Walther believed, to carefully and prayerfully re-consider their Dr. Ruth/Dr. Phil modernist positions (my words, not Fr. Rich's  :)  ).
Enough Watson talk - - -

Excursus: The Ever Virginity of Mary
 (originally published at http://sothl.com/ )
Rev. Richard Futrell SSP
From the beginning of the New Testament Church, the oral tradition within the Church is that Mary remained a virgin her entire life. If we hold that the early Church did not have a strange view of sexuality, why would the Church have passed down such a teaching from the beginning?

1. The Church called, and calls, Mary the bearer of God (Theotokos). This expression is not to elevate Mary but to affirm that the One to whom she gave birth, Jesus, is God in the Flesh. Understanding that, the Church saw Mary as the Ark of the Covenant’s fulfillment. In a similar way that the Ark was the place of God’s presence in the Old Covenant (Leviticus 16:2), in the New Covenant, Mary became that Ark, containing and bringing God’s presence to earth by giving birth to God in the flesh.
For example, Hippolytus (170-236 AD)–a student of Ireneaus, who was a student of Polycarp, who was a student of the Apostle John–wrote:
At that time, the Savior coming from the Virgin, the Ark, brought forth His own Body into the world from that Ark, who was gilded inside with pure gold by the Word, and outside by the Holy Spirit, so that the truth was shown forth.
So the Church taught that in a similar way that someone was not allowed to touch the Old-Covenant Ark, so also did they see Mary as an Ark that was not to be “touched.”
The Church Fathers also saw other foreshadowings in the Old Covenant that pointed to Mary. Mary was seen, not only as a New-Covenant Ark, but also:
  • A New-Covenant Holy of Holies in which God dwelled (Ephraim the Syrian, Jerome, and Ambrose)
  • The “Rod of Jesse” from whom blossomed Christ (Ambrose, Tertullian, and Jerome)
  • The “Burning Bush that is not consumed” (Gregory of Nyssa) [the fire being God, the bush being Mary]
We must remember that Joseph was a pious man fully steeped in the Old Covenant. When he realized Whom Mary had within her, and that she gave birth to, God in the flesh, how would he then view and treat her? He would see her as a special and holy vessel who brought God’s physical presence into this world. Joseph would have viewed and treated her with such dignity and respect, not simply as any other woman.

2. According to the Old Covenant, the oldest son took care of his mother after his father died. If the oldest son died, the responsibility then passed to the next oldest son. After we see Jesus at age 12 in the Temple, we read no more about Joseph. Even more, that Jesus asked another to take care of Mary shows that Joseph had already died. Yet, if Jesus had younger brothers, who were born from Mary, then his younger brother was to take care of his mother. Yet, Jesus tells John to take care of Mary.
But if Jesus had step-brothers from Joseph, the law did not require them to take care of Mary. Jesus said: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17). Does it make sense that Jesus would throw everything away at the last moment by not fulfilling the law on the cross? That is what would have happened if Jesus had younger brothers who were born from Mary. For Jesus then would not have fulfilled the law and we would still be trapped in our sins.
But if Jesus’ brothers (Matthew 12:46, Mark 3:31, and Luke 8:19) were step-brothers, from a previous marriage of Joseph’s, then Jesus fulfilled the law just as He said he would do. (The Greek word for brother [adelphos] can mean brother, step-brother, and in some cases, even a cousin.) That is what Epiphanius of Salamis taught (315-403 AD).

3. But what about the Bible passage that says that Joseph did not know (have sex with) Mary until she gave birth to a son (Matthew 1:25)? Ah yes–that word “until.” In English, when we read “until,” we understand that passage to mean that Joseph had no sex with Mary before Jesus’ birth. After Jesus’ birth, he did. Yet, in the Greek, “until” (eos) does not carry that implication. Eos simply means that something did or did not happen up to a particular time, with no implication after that.
For example: In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus tells His Apostles that He will be with them “until” (eos) the end of the age. Jesus was not saying anything about His presence after the end of the age, just until the end of the age, that is, up to the end of the age. It would be presumptuous for us to assume that Jesus’ presence would somehow disappear after the end of the age because Jesus only promised to be with them “until” the end of the age!
In the Old Testament, we read in 2 Samuel 6:23: “Saul’s daughter Michal had no child until the day of her death.” The Greek translation of the Old Testament (Septuagint) used eos for “until.” Yet, we know that Michal could not have become pregnant and given birth after she died.
In the same way, Matthew is saying nothing about Mary or Joseph after she gave birth to Jesus. He is simply saying that until Mary gave birth, Joseph and Mary did not have sex. That was to emphasize the virgin birth of Jesus, which is the point Matthew is making when telling us about Jesus’ birth. It’s absurd to think that he is telling us about the sexual life of Joseph and Mary.

4. The traditional Lutheran position is that Mary is “ever virgin” and even now remains as virgin (SD, section VIII, para 24, Latin text). Luther, who translated the entire Bible, held this view. All of our Lutheran fathers into the 20th century held this view. It was not until our current LC-MS’ official systematics text was published that pastors could officially believe that Mary did not remain a virgin.
If the Christology of a theologian is orthodox in all other respects, he is not to be regarded as a heretic for holding that Mary bore other children in a natural manner after she had given birth to the Son of God. [Franz Pieper, Christian Dogmatics (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1951), 2: 308]
Notice that Francis Pieper, LC-MS President from 1899-1911, shows the normal, default position for a Lutherans: They believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary. Not believing it to be true is the exception, which is allowed “if the Christology of a theologian is orthodox in all other respects.” Denying the perpetual virginity of Mary is a recent innovation and a historical aberration within the Church.

But why does the perpetual virginity of Mary even matter?
Mary’s perpetual virginity fulfills prophecy. Before Jesus’ birth, Mary’s virginity affirms the truth in Genesis 3:15 and Isaiah 7:14. After Jesus’ birth, Mary fulfills Ezekiel 44:1-2:
Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces east. And it was shut. And the Lord said to me, “This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it, for the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered by it. Therefore it shall remain shut.”
Even more, Christ’s conception and birth through Mary is tied to our rebirth in Baptism. Like Jesus and Mary’s conception of Him, we are born anew by the Holy Spirit. Yet, this spiritual birth for us takes place through the Church.
And so, using biblical imagery, the Church is both virgin and mother. As mother, the Church gives spiritual birth to children who are brought into the life of Christ (Galatians 4:26). The Church is our mother because she brings forth children through the Holy Spirit. Yet, the Church is also a perpetual virgin, for she keeps the purity of the faith of her spouse, Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians 7:34, the Apostle Paul teaches that unmarried women and virgins are “concerned about the things of the Lord.” In this way, the perpetual virginity of Mary represents the Church always being “concerned about the things of the Lord.”

Sunday, April 14, 2013



   How serendipitous, sublime and Grace drenched are our lives.  How infinitely precise and delicate is the thread and craftsmanship of our Lord as He weaves our salvation in time & space to effecuate both what He deigned before all eternity, and what He purchased and won at Calvary.

   My Father was a bastard child (as they called illigitimate children way back in the dark ages of the 1930s) and was put up for adoption by his un-wed mother.  My Dad never really knew his mother.  He was never officially adopted by anyone, but WAS taken into the home of a German-American woman and raised with her own son.  It was a "foster-home" situation that lasted for my Dad until he graduated from High School and joined the Navy in January of 1944.

   His foster mother was not a church goer but must have had some nominal connection with the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, for she required my Dad to go every Sunday.  He was baptized, confirmed, and married at an LC-MS parish in Minneapolis.  It was the same parish wherein he met my mother who also was a regular attender, although her parents DID NOT attend either. 

   They were two of the finest Christian parents a man could hope to have had, and the Word of Christ Crucified worked on them, in them, and for them, even despite the fact they did not have supportive active parents.  The Lord will not abandon his elect.

   My Dad went to  Church every Sunday of his life.  I have countless fond memories of going to church with him and my Mother.  I would not be a pastor today (in my opinion) without this strong Lutheran up-bringing and his faithful role-modeling of a strong, decent, modest, and Christian husband and father.

   One of the things my Dad loved to do in his spare time...in the cold Minnesota winter months (11 months out of the year :) ) when he could not work out in the yard, the garden, and the garage workshop, was to listen to music.  My Dad loved music.  One of his favorite singers was Mario Lanza.  He must have had close to a dozen Lanza stereo lp's which he would play regularly on his prized GI-NORMUS stereo counsole (the big coffin-size pieces of furniture).  Almost every Sunday afternoon after the family would return home from Church, he would plop a selection of vinyl discs down on the turn-table and lay down in front of the speakers for aural relaxation.  I would hear (and come to appreciate for the rest of my life) Mario Lanza, Martin Denny, Les Baxter, Frank Sinatra, the Harmonicats, Strauss, Beethoven, Nat King Cole, show-tunes, Jim Reeves, and a host of others too many to mention.

   And although my Dad's Lutheranism was staunch, he, like me, had Roman Catholic friends and co-workers.  One point that they could all agree on (I guess it's a start :) ) is that Mario Lanza's rendition of Franz Schubert's AVE MARIA was one of the best ever recorded up to that time.  I would now say in the year 2013, that it is still one of the finest versions.
   Here is a YouTube clip of Mario (it's dubbed and not sung live in the scene, DARN) singing it in the 1956 motion-picture SERENADE.  What's not to love:  prie dieu's, crucifixes, signs-of-the-cross, statuary, and a beautiful church setting (not to mention a radiant Joan Fontaine).

But far, far more importantly for my Dad (and Mom), "HE IS RISEN!  HE IS RISEN INDEED, HALLELUJAH!  
Thank you Lord, Christ Jesus!


Saint John 10. 11-16
Misericordias Domini: 14 April Anno Domini 2013
The Rev’d Fr. Jay Watson SSP

In The + Name of Jesus

   Here the Word of the Lord: “I am the good shepherd!” Note how the sectarians and heterodox don’t quibble about this word of Christ. You don’t find these sacramentarians sniffing: “oh, that’s just symbolic talk…Jesus represents a shepherd; He makes one remember…ah…remember what—David?”  How about Amos?

   The deficiencies of Protestant exegesis aside: Jesus means what He says. Jesus is the Good Shepherd that David writes about in the 23rd Psalm.

   All human shepherds merely icon, image, reflect, and are modeled after Christ Who is The Good Shepherd.  Shepherd means pastor and pastor means shepherd. 

   Your “old Adam” can put up with the shepherd “shtick” as long as it convinces you that you’re not really one of the sheep, but rather an administrator and voter on the Flock’s Board of Directors.  Then, you can just fire the under-shepherds whenever they hurt your feelings or don’t leap high enough when your sinful nature says jump. 

   But that’s okay, none of that matters.  The wayward flock threw Pastor Jeremiah into a pit filled with sewage, threatened to kill Shepherd Moses, persecuted Pastor Isaiah, and sawed in half Shepherd Zechariah. The sheep, feeling their oats (their oats) stoned Pastor Stephen, and ended up killing 11 out of 12 of the Good Shepherd’s original, and finest, cadre of under-shepherds.  So, it’s in the cards, it’s part of the plan, or at least of the way things simply are!  All the under-shepherd can do is to hold tightly to his crosier, the staff of the Office into which Christ has place him; preach the Words of His Master, and let the Lord’s will be done.  Martyr’s in deed (Jan Hus, Patrick Hamilton, Richard Wurmbrand) and in will (Kirk McQuillan, Stephen Weist, Dirk Vander Linde, Randy Gragg, Clark Brown, Michael Hill, Douglas Fusselman, Jerome Deister…well the lc-ms [sic] list is endless, so I must stop) are precious in the sight of the Good Shepherd: The Good Shepherd!

    It is all about the Good Shepherd.

    Jesus gives His life for the sheep.  Jesus gives His life for you. He gave His life for you and He continues to give His life for you.

    Jesus is no hireling; He is God of God, homoousias with the Father!  There is a hireling in every person, lay and ordained; man and woman, farmer and engineer, new convert and Book of Concord poser.  No pastor in a parish can be Christ the God/Man anymore than the parishioner can be Adam pre-forbidden fruit.  The Holy Spirit, Christ’s sent counselor, strengthens and emboldens all saints in this blood warfare…in this dangerous passage of the Flock, the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church through the desert to the Promised Land. 

    It is Christ Himself who battles your wolves, bears, lions, cancers, depressions, divorces, adulteries, lies, hatreds, deaths, separations, and apostasies. Christ fights with His crosier—The Cross and Him Crucified!  Christ cares for you His tender lambs.  In times when you doubt, look to His blood-red wounds and scars; look to His Words of Peace placed in you through your ears and mouths.

   Christ never runs from the wolf.  Indeed, The Lord walked into the wolves’ lair when He rode into Jerusalem, marched into Gethsemane, and let Himself be led the rest of the way to Golgotha. 

   Some under-shepherds are hirelings…you can usually tell them by their ugly shirts and used-car salesmen neck ties.  You can always discern them by their false doctrine, lack of preaching real Law before genuine Gospel.  You can usually find them at “meetings,” planning sessions, and worship committee jamborees.  Hirelings treat the Bride of Christ like a career path…leaving the old and tired, or the declining and quarrelsome parishes to “trade up” to a slicker and more appealing “trophy wife.” I say a pox on them all.  We rather, pray for and place before the Messiah’s countenance all those brave pastors who have been slaughtered (along with their families) on the altars of American democratization and modernist heresy: God bless them—their reward is in paradise!

   And Jesus the Shepherd, your Pastor, goes right one providing for you and shepherding you. He found you, the one lost little lamb out of the 99 at the font—the womb of His Flock, His Church. He washed you from the filth, muck, and sin of death. He breathed His Holy Spirit into your husk and re-inflated not just your two lungs with His Law & Gospel, His Blood & Water but also your soul and spirit. As Temples of His Paraclete, you have the breath of God within you; His word is your oxygen. He clothed you, His sheep, with the very robes and skin of the Shepherd. While you are His flock, when the Father looks upon you He sees not sheep but sons and daughters.  Jesus leads you constantly to the green pastures of His Church—this parish—the Catholic Faith (according to the whole—everything here at this altar, font and pulpit). Here the Shepherd of your souls, your Bishop Jesus, feeds you His very Body and His true Blood; the flesh and blood of the Shepherd slain and raised; of the Great Pastor. 

   If one does not eat His actual Body and drink His actual Blood, as He says—then one has not the Good Shepherd.

   His sheep will hear His voice (because He says so) regardless of the mumblings, cowardice, mis-steps, and bungling of His under-shepherds.

   He’s put His life down on it…and raised it up again.

In The Name of The Father and of + The Son and of The Holy Ghost

Saturday, April 13, 2013


  I don't believe this blog should be very self-referential, and so I promise that this type of apologia will not occur again anytime soon.  The following post is NOT directed at any of my loyal "10" (ten) "followers."    - - JWW 

  The blogosphere is large; too large (and blogs aren't even popular anymore--they're so 2009).  There are thousand of blogs on every topic under the sun; zillions on matters theological and even...Lutheran.
   My blog (Megalunei) is a private blog, insofar as it's totally unrelated to my calling in any "official" capacity.  It's not an official church/parish blog - - it's my blog as a human being who just happens to be an ordained Lutheran pastor with lots and lots of opinions and views on matters: religious, political, synodical (sic), theological, and metaphysical.

   The reason the blog is "open" to everyone with a PC (at least for the forseeable future) is that I do post sermons.  Some of my former members and friends who might not want to "sign up" on blogger/google to be a "follower" can still read these homilies.  Believe it or not, I have had former parishioners request my sermons.

   Now, a blog isn't Face Book to be sure, but a blog is still much like being invited into someones living room for cigars, brandy, and a tasty buffet.  I would no more argue and cast aspersions at someone if I had been invited into their home, than I would snipe on someone's FB 'wall.'  And I certainly would not continue to haunt a blog that I did not agree with, or find eddifying.  This blog is a combination of sermons, hymn lyrics, lame-o self-drawn (if you want to call them "drawn") cartoons, even lame-er "Top-Ten" comedic lists, and screeds and rants.

  It's my blog.  It certainly isn't hurting anyone.  Dr. Scaer is one way in class, and another way in talking with Grandma Schmitt and the LWML.  Not that I owe this explanation to anyone...but it might not be safe to assume that how I express myself in/on MY (emphasis) blog is identical to how I conduct Mass or deal with parishioners. 

   Am I angry? Sure, some of the time and sometimes all of the time.  Am I frustrated with the world, the country, the synod (sic), the Minnesota Twins?  Sure, lots of the time but not all of the time.

   If you don't like Grabau, Loehe, the Swedish Lutheran Mission Province, the Society of Saint Polycarp, Fr. Hollywood, hyper-Euro lutheranism ( :) ) the doctrine of Semper Virgo, than what in the blue-blazes are you doing hanging around here? 

  The only time I will share my bona fides:

   0. I believe the Holy Bible is innerrent, infallible and inspired. (I think all the higher-critics and seminex weasels should have been ex-communicated). I believe in: a literal 6-day creation (24 hour days); the Adam and Eve I learned about in Sunday School; that Jonah was swallowed by a great sea-creature.... ya 'get the drift.' 

   1. I believe, teach and confess that the article upon which the Church stands or falls is Augustana IV.  I would rather be tortured and die before giving up the Rule/Analogy of Faith: Justification by Grace through Faith in Christ alone  (which we know because of Holy Scripture)  These solas are not alone but work together.  They are always alone when juxtaposed against works righteousness or anything other than Christ Crucified for the forgiveness of sins.

  2.  I like Luther.  I like Flacius.  I love the way Gerhard uses "types" and almost, allegory.

  3.  One of the reasons I went to the Seminary was because of my love for the theological writings of Dr. Robert Preus.

  4.  I would love to see the world wide confessional Lutheran communities re-institute an Episcopal form of church government.  I fully realize that that is NEVER going to happen; I hardly ever mention it.

  5.  I love the Blessed Virgin Mary (who is not dead, but alive with Christ as are all the Saints who pass from this mortal coil at death until the great resurrection of all flesh at the Eschaton) and believe and confess that she was, is, and always will be SEMPER VIRGO.  I don't teach this doctrine to Lutheran laymen.  And when I do talk about it (which I do frequently) I fully realize that nobody agrees with me.  Que sera, sera.  

  6.  When I write, I enjoy sarcasm and "Stan Lee" type humor.

   So in conclusion, I think certain individuals should let this tiny, microscopically insignificant blog alone.  I didn't create it to be like some other blogs wherein "give & take" and thrust/counter-thrust repartee is solicited. 

   And again in conclusion, Mother Mary prayS for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.*

Deo Vindice,

* The Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Chapter IX, ARTICLE XXI, Of the Invocation of Saints, paragraph 8, pp. 235-236, Jacob's translation

Friday, April 12, 2013


   It’s sad that there are so many self-appointed laymen, who were either hurt by their mothers (thus hating Motherhood) or by women (thus hating women in general) who pontificate on church history all the while despising the actual men who make up that very history.  These theological pygmies (the “moderns”) would do better to practice humility and devotion than logic and cheap-jack Protestant exegesis.   They desire to stamp their own truncated vision of the Bible onto the Church but are not worth a bucket of warm spit when they come face-to-face with the actual Church Catholic and her eternal teachings.

   While we (the communities of the Unaltered Augustana) have no magisterium as such, we do have our Norma Normans (the Holy Scriptures) and our Norma Normata (the Symbols of the Evangelical-Catholic Church as found in the Book of Concord, 1580).  We also have a wonderful deposit of learned Church Fathers whose consensus on many matters is a great weight of supportive verity (from Cyprian to Bernard; from Hus to Chemnitz; from Gerhard to Sasse; etc).

   Many of us, if not most Christians, have favorite Saints and Biblical characters (and many of them were “characters” in the fullness of that word).  My most beloved and revered Saint is the Blessed Ever Virgin, Saint Mary of Nazareth.

   In addition to being sui generis in all of creation, history, time & space, she is accessible to us in the pages of Holy Writ and whenever the Lord touches us in His word and Sacramental Word (indeed as are all the Saints and host of Sabaoth). 

   Mary is Theotokos (“God bearer”)—simply because she is: Thus saith the Lord (look it up in Luke).  In addition, she is titled so by the Church Catholic at the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in AD 431.   Confessional Lutheranism and the lc-ms [sic] have always accepted the early councils and their creeds (c.f. the Niceno-Constantinopolitan, AD 325/381).

   But beyond the witness of the early Fathers we have the witness and testimony of our own German patrimony, to-wit:
   “On account of this personal union and communion of the natures, Mary, the most blessed Virgin, bore not a mere man, but, as the angel [Gabriel] testifies, such a man as is truly the Son of the most high God, who showed His divine majesty even in His mother’s womb, inasmuch as He was born of virgin, with her virginity inviolate. Therefore she is truly the mother of God, and nevertheless remained a virgin.”  [Formula of Concord S.D. Art. VII, para 24, Triglotta, pp. 1022-1023

    What is so salutary is that the English follows the German in denominating Saint Mary of Nazareth as “mother of God” [German: Gottes Mutter].  This is a more accurate in REALITY, if not in text, translation than the Latin version which merely uses the ancient, conciliar title: Theotokos.

    To be sure, the Blessed Virgin is Theotokos but “God’s mother” more beautifully describes her special relationship with Jesus.  A shopping cart carries a water melon…a brief case carries a note pad, and women carry babies.  It is clinical, scientific, truthful and good definition, to be sure.  But The Virgin is no mere functional surrogate for the Holy Ghost, but the mother of God.  It was Mary who was closer to the Christ during those 9 months of pregnancy, and the months she nursed the God/Infant at her breasts, than any other living creature has ever been.  It was The Virgin who taught Jesus to walk, and talk, and who sang to Him and tucked Him in at night.  The Prince of the Apostles, and the beloved Disciple, knew our Lord for three intensive years of close fellowship; Saint Mary knew Him for 33 years of motherly love and affection.

   Ave Maria—blessed art thou among women and blessed it the fruit of thy womb.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Did I Know Him? Heck, I Had Lunch With PATRICK HENRY REARDON

   All of you “Johnny-come-lately” readers of TOUCHSTONE—this is for you.
   When you were all still in grade school, I knew the founder, creator, and first editor of TOUCHSTONE.  Only back then, David Higbee (who was then David Kemmerer) was still non-denominational.  Back then, the parent organization which published and owned the magazine was called the B’rith Christian Union and not the Fellowship of Saint James.  I knew Rev. Higbee and became his friend.  I was living in Topeka, Kansas, and first became friends with one of his own close associates and regular contributors, Steven Faulkner.

   TOUCHSTONE was the public voice of David and Steven’s respective faith communities as they wrestled with the question: “Where is the Church?”  David and his flock were located in Chicago (not all that far from the University of Chicago) while Stephen lived a few blocks away from me in Topeka.  They and their parishes were following a somewhat similar path that Peter Gilquist and his followers had traversed a few years…nay, months, before them. 

  David knew that generic American Protestantism was sectarian and un-Catholic.  What little influence I may have had on them did NOT cause them to give Confessional Lutheranism another “shot” in their quest and examining studies. 

   Steven, his own family, and some of the Topeka group were taken into the Roman Catholic Church.  The church building and the majority of his parishioners went with the Eastern Orthodox.  Up in Chicago, David Higbee and TOUCHSTONE tragically went their separate ways.  The new Editorial team of the magazine, and most of the Chicago group also went EAST.  David moved to New York and became Roman Catholic.

   TOUCHSTONE, the magazine, grew in size, subscribers, and prestige.  There is much I would like to say but can’t and won’t.

   Suffice it to say that there wouldn’t be a TOUCSTONE without the herculean work, vision, and leadership skills of my former friend David Higbee.

    David also was responsible for a meeting and lunch that I had with him, and with the famous Patrick Henry Reardon.  The three of us (I think Steven Faulkner must have been there as well) met at Pore Richards, a then down-town Topeka institution for lunch.  I am pretty sure that Patrick, at that time, was not yet a priest (or deacon) but simply a new convert to Orthodoxy.  He was in town to make several presentations on “going East” to Steve’s little parish.  Patrick Reardon was a close as I had ever gotten to a true theological wunderkind at that point in my life.  The man was a dynamic, charismatic (in the popular sense) and protean: historian, theologian, philosopher, writer, teacher, philologist, and GENIUS!

   It’s a wonder, or Divine Providence, that I did not convert to the EAST myself so powerful was his persuasive witness.  Plus, this much, much younger Reardon (this had to be circa 1980) bore a striking resemblance to my then (I’ve since repented) neo-con, warlike worship of Theodore Roosevelt.  After our lunch I even had David Higbee and Patrick over to my house to show them my den/library, and my portrait of TR which hung over the living-room fireplace. 

   When I went to the Seminary (CTS/Fort Wayne) 16 months (or so) later, most of my ties were severed to these three men who all were on far different trajectories.  They quickly ceased being my theological heroes and possible mentors, as I fell under the tutelage of men such as Marquart, Weinrich and Reuning.    

   Once my subscription to TOUCHSTONE lapsed, I never was to renew it again.  I did years later however purchase Reardon’s lay commentary on the Psalter, and still from time to time surf on to the TOUCHSTONE web site to read the free downloads and blog entries.  And my dear friend Fr. Michael Penikis gifted me this Christmas past with the 2013 Fellowship of Saint James wall calendar.  J

   Then today, Wednesday 10 April, I chanced upon a podcast over at Ancient Faith Radio (yes, they do play podcasts as well as some of the most beautiful hymnody and chant on the web) of Father Reardon discussing in a tangential way, Western Rite Orthodoxy within his own Antiochian church body here in the States.   http://ancientfaith.com/specials/episodes/western_rite    But, of his 40 minute talk, only about 2 minutes directly touched upon the Western Rite (mostly negative; chastising the use of the Mass of Pope Pius V and the Book of Common Prayer) while the bulk of his fine lecture focused upon Augustine of Hippo and the important theme of Christ’s mediation in Augustine’s soteriology.  Most of what Fr. Patrick had to say about Augustine, both Weinrich and Luther (note who I place first) would have agreed with.  Even a quote or two from Nicholas Cabasilas was not anathema to our Book of Concord.

   I have absolutely no overarching theological point to make with this rambling post, nor do I hint at any flirtations that my own ministry is receiving or implying.

   It was just nice…yes, nice, in a nostalgic way, to hear Patrick Henry Reardon, master of Historical Theology as well as Dogmatics, to hold forth on a topic that mentioned Jesus a whole lot, and synergistic cooperative sanctification NOT ONCE.

   Though he would never remember me, it would be nice one day to talk with him again in person.

Monday, April 8, 2013

John 20 Quasimodo Pariphrastic(expialadocius) Hymn

Words: Jay W. Watson. 2013
Tune: Maldwyn, Welsh Melody, c. 1600
Meter: 11, 11, 11, 11

When eventide came on that first and third day
They huddled in terror from the Jewish fray
Despite Mary’s word they had locked themselves in
Guilt scarred and still grieving their cowardly sin

Stood then their dear Master alive from the tomb
Yet what save a ghost steps into a locked room
The Lord spoke His sweet Peace amidst gathered doubt
Then asked if there might be some victuals about

O My friends calm your nerves and touch here My hands
And handle the pierced chest of He Who now stands
I’m not spirit wrathful but your Lord living
Receive My breath and Its gifts now be giving

But not in their band on this night was Thomas
Our Christ’s upper room visit sadly he missed
The ten shared their good news but Thomas denied
“I will not believe until I touch His side”

The Sunday next all eleven were present
Again appeared Jesus still living still rent
"Come Thomas" He said "touch My side and My hands"
"Cease doubting but believe I’ve broken deaths bands"

Then Thomas did place both his hands in the wounds
And uttered the creed that forever resounds
My Lord and My God, please forgive me my doubts
The banquet of Saints Hallelujah now shouts

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Saint John 20. 19-31
QUASIMODOGENITI: 7 April Anno Domini 2013
Fr Jay Watson SSP

In The Name + of Jesus

   This is not a story to remember and play act.  The tragic, possibly faithless error of Protestantism, especially the gooey, saccharine, modern “faith in my heart” abomination of the last century or so, is hearing of Easter Eve and having nothing but pious and warm feelings about it, or, of seeing everything on Sunday as only symbolic: our little weekly Oberammergau sketches.

   Conservative reformed are not off the hook either.  If it’s only the Lord pulling us, elevating us, bringing us somewhere where He is that isn’t this house in Shawnee to “somehow” commune with Him by faith in our hearts…than to hell with it as Flannery O’Connor would have said.  And Lutherans aren’t off the chopping block of Thomism, (not Aquinas, but Didymus), either.  Most Lutherans are receptionists, which is heterodoxy at best, and a denial of the very Word of God at the least. Or most Lutherans by their lack of sacramental piety and reverence are functional low Episcopalians. 

   Stop being like the Twin, and start being like Saint John who believed the Lord was alive and present when the Magdalene told him…told him…the Word.

   Stop looking at the sermon as the high-point of the Mass. As important as the Word is, and you just heard me say it’s of maximum importance…the Word, not sight, not empirical observation and validation, as important as the Word is…the sermon is just the waiter, the dinner server (you may or may not like—which sadly might be why pastors who preach to their seas of itching ears might be tipped better), just the waiter reading you the menu…getting you ready for the Feast of Eternity.

   The pinnacle of the Mass is the Word made Flesh in your midst—for you—for the forgiveness of sins!

It is the Sacramental Word that is THE New Testament, not the written texts which came some decades and decades later. 

   There are many with weak faith, scandalously demanding faith, or even slipping away into disbelief faith.  This isn’t about Thomas called Saint by the Church Catholic, it’s about “Joe-Billy-Lutheran” (or “Karl-Heinz-Schmitt-Lutheran”) who doesn’t even realize what is going on at the Divine Service!

   The reason the Lord told St. Mary Magdalene (also in John’s Gospel) not to “hold on” or “touch me” (actually “do not cling to Me” the NKJV translation gets to the Greek quite nicely) is not because the Lord eschews contact, warmth and embrace, but because that is not where He is to be received in His fullness—for you!  Is Jesus out there in nature? Is the Lord in “the garden?”  Well, He was for the Magdalene.  Go back 2,000 years and you too can have your fizzies and tremblies in the great outdoors.  But if you’re a manly, disciplined, catechized and mature Disciple, you’ll be where He told you to be: here!  Who did He let touch Him to their hearts content? Who did He let place their traitorous, cowardly, sinfully filthy monkey digits into His Holy nail wounds?  Who did He let touch His deep gash in His side, over His heart—the heart of God?

Where “two or three are gathered together in My Name, there Am I in the midst of them…”  That’s not a prayer meeting, a TNT study session, or your family devo time…it’s the Blessed Mass, the mysterious meal known as the Eucharist!  He came to the “12” while they were at meat.  The Lord ate with them: fish and honeycomb!

   That was then, and now is now, and never-the-twain shall meet. You aren’t in the upper room and you won’t see the Christ the way James and Andrew saw Him.  You are Thomas for the rest of your life—you are to believe the Word of His glorious resurrection and presence by the testimony of those who saw, touched, ate with, handled…and heard.  Thomas did not initially believe the preached word…to his sin and shame.  He repented; all is well with this heroic martyr Apostle who resides now in the very wounds that the Lord let him touch the following week.  You too sin and repent…and are absolved…some of you even at the very Sacrament of Repentance which the Lord too has given for your consolation and strengthening.

   Your pastor genuflects during the Historic Creed as Luther urged and as Christians have done for centuries…that’s custom; it’s salutary—a confession of the Homo Factus Est, and I urge it on you notwithstanding your demurring because of close rows or arthritic knees.  But I genuflect during the consecration, as I urge you to start doing now, today, as well, because Jesus is here.  We don’t copy Saint Thomas because it’s a symbolic re-enacting of the upper room. We don’t look at the elevated host and say “my Lord and my God” because we want to be “like Mike” or “like Tom,” but because Jesus is here.

   Brow-beating, whining and constant cajoling at Lutherans to do things a “certain way,” even if it is a better way, will never produce anything other than resentful and ticked off parishioners…that’s to be sure; only the Holy Ghost, only the Word can convince Thomas that Jesus is present when Thomas doesn’t see or hear Jesus the way Thomas wants to.

   If you see Jesus in the consecrated Host and Chalice; if you see His Holy Body and precious Blood in the bread and wine, it will because His Word, the Verba, has converted your hearts once again to believe and trust the word.

   The Word made flesh will stand before you in a few minutes.  The God/Man Who was born for you, Who lived for you, Who worked for you, Who died for you, Who rose for you, and Who ascended for you, will be enthroned on this Altar for you to eat and drink.  And, as for your confession: mental, verbal, noetic, physical, well, as King David once said: “may the Lord do what seems good to Him.”

   Once last thing: while bare crosses are not un-Christian, they are sub-Lutheran. They are not the reality or the Gospel we preach.  They are, in this day and age, “half-measures,” ecumenical compromises which the un-catechized embrace so as not to offend the protestant, anti-Romanist, and agnostic. Crosses are neat, clean and basically ornamental.  Paul wrote: “we preach Christ crucified,” which is quite simply: the Crucifix.  When we pastors are accosted in parking lots and at restaurants by offended protestants for wearing a pectoral crucifix with the inanities: “I worship a risen Lord,” we must remember Saint Thomas.

   Jesus is God. You do believe that.  Jesus can do miracles. You do believe that. Jesus could have appeared to Thomas, and the other “10” with His Body restored, healed, and immaculate, post His terrible mutilation of that Friday past—He did not!

   Jesus stood before Didymus a living, breathing, speaking, loving, CRUCIFIX…feet and hands pierced, side riven. Jesus stands here today streaming His Blood and love into your mouths.  He comes to you this morn with His pierced Body to feed and wipe away tears.

    Disciples are glad when they see the Lord!

    Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet believe.

In The Name of The Father and of + The Son and of The Holy Ghost