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

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ad Te Levavi: HOMILY

Saint Matthew 21. 1-9
AD TE LEVAVI - 1st Sunday of Advent: 1 December Anno Domini 2013
Fr. Jay Watson SSP (with material suggested by Fr. Charles Lehmann)

In The + Name of Jesus

   I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.” [Jer. 33. 14a]

     It is not that the Lord needs you as if something in the perfect un-create Godhead required created matter outside its, His, own beatific and supernal glory. The Lord desires you with a conscious and deliberative LOVE from before the world began. God is love. God’s nature is to love, to share, and have communion.

     Eden, the original Jerusalem if you will, the place where you and your parents were supposed to be, was pure, clean, safe, nourishing, wonderful beyond words, and good—very good.  But because of conscious rebellion and pagan ego worship it was tossed aside like garbage, or, like the core of a piece of rotten unfulfilling fruit. You want choice and decision theology?  There’s your “I have decided” false doctrine, resting squarely in Eve’s murderous and venal heart in conspiring with the liar and murderer from old; there’s the only “decision” your perverted reprobate heart will ever do…choosing to sin every day in every black and filthy way imaginable! Eve took, and you take, sinful hearts, minds, and hands and try to remake Eden, but you create only earthly Jerusalem’s.  The Temple of God was the Lord’s own incursion and anchor in the City of Man. But Jerusalem in 30 A.D. was filled with as many sinners as Corinth or Rome…or metro Kansas City.

   So the Son of God, the genuine Jerusalem, Melchizadek in the flesh, journeyed toward His fate of suffering and death to buy you back, to free you from the prison house of death. Advent is Jesus coming back as He once came in the “fullness of time” to remake time into eternity. Advent is Jesus riding into the Jerusalem then, riding into His New Jerusalem today, and soon, riding the clouds to take you to his Ever Jerusalem with its golden gates of splendor and its tables of Wedding Feasting!

   He is always drawing “nigh unto Jerusalem” with His own Body to purify her stain and brokenness, with His own covering atonement; with His own Peace and handfuls of olive oil—His sweat and blood, to wash and bind up with balm of Law—keeping and forgiveness. Jesus is always loosing asses and colts—absolving and liberating in both Testaments of Old and New, of Hebrew and Greek, of Jew and Gentile! Jesus closes His own life and light and willingly submits to torture and death so as to open and set free. He opens eyes, ears, and tongues; He straightens spines and stops flows of blood, He drives out demons, leprosy, fornication, adultery, and prostitution. He conquers death and restores families and friends to one another and to His own family!

   Jesus does His work as He did His work for 33 years of keeping the 10 Commandments—because He loves you not in sentiment and fickle emotion, but in sacrificial action and deed. He Advents Jerusalem on that fateful day which we still celebrate this morning, ever waiting for His imminent re-Advent, final Advent, and reappearing.

   So, the Son becomes the genuine Son of Man and it is this God/Man Who rides into Jerusalem amidst the shouts of Hosanna! He rides in to die, but then, to die no more!

    For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel.” [Jer. 33.17]   By sitting on the Ass throne and the Wood throne; there was The Branch of Righteousness-growing up unto David, there He executed judgment, and there He saved Judah!

   The Incarnate God; the Blood and Body of Jesus the God/Man, is what the Season of Adventide is all about: Immanuel!  Ad Te Levaviunto Thee O Lord do I lift up my soul—is because He went up to Jerusalem to go up even more to the Cross on Calvary and to lift up His Paschal Sacrifice to The Father. An incarnate God to be incarnatedly nailed and spiked down on wood—the wood from that twisted fallen tree at the center of the Garden, at the center of your sinful heart!

   Not Nazareth where the Incarnation began with His holy conception; not Bethlehem where the Incarnation was first seen in His Nativity; and not Bethphage where the Incarnation was experienced in Rabbinical respect for a miracle—working Master Teacher and healer. But rather Jesus enters, Advents, into Jerusalem on an Ass, to the Greeks foolishness and to the Jews a stumbling block. God riding an Ass is the perfect avatar of life under the Cross and of the invisible realities of Christ taking and carrying your burdens, obligations and trespasses. God’s flesh & blood on a smelly and dirty animal. Soon to be God sweating, thirsting, and swelling up from punches, punctured, ripped, bleeding, and dying.      You are with Him on that Ass, not holding on from behind, grasping for dear life as the Warrior races along on a battle—stallion, but in front of Him, cradled closely to His Side, and held tightly by His palms as He slowly approaches His destiny and yours. With you and your flesh on that Ass, next to God’s flesh, is the flesh of the whore, the Mexican immigrant, the Haitian aids patient, the Socialist eco-radical, and the homeless wino. Jesus suffered and died for their flesh, along with yours. He anointed their flesh to cleanse it like He anointed + yours! Jesus was enthroned on the Crucifix and planted in the tomb so that you would be placed, with all “The” Disciples upon thrones in the New Jerusalem.

   C.S. Lewis’ immortal The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, does not end with Aslan dying on the Stone Table, or Aslan coming back to life in the morning, or even with the rout of the White Witch’s army of evil. Lewis’ apologetic ends (or begins) with the four (four the Evangelists?) Pevensie children crowned and seated upon Thrones in His Kingdom of Cair Paravel. Yes. Advent is coming. Advent is here.

  Advent is not Tolkien’s high allegorical fantasy but the Triune God’s even higher and deeper literal, ontological, infinite, reality. Advent is truly the RETURN OF THE KING. Not Aragorn to a rebuild Minis Tirith to save Middle Earth, but Jesus of Nazareth to Jerusalem’s Golgotha to save the world, and especially them that believe. C.S. Lewis used the correct terminology for Edmund, Peter, Susan and Lucy when they were denominated as Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve. For it is the proper way to note ones fleshly, fallen-flesh, heritage, what was lost, but what once was. Advent means you are now sons and daughters of the Living God and brothers and sisters of Christ Jesus the Prince of Peace.

   Multitudes of Augsburg, come forward in your Advent parade this morning to Christ’s humble Ass of earthly elements, veiling a Divine Mystery, mysterion, sacramentum, and sacrament! He has spread out His robe for you to walk on and wear; He has strewn this Holy Ground with the palms of His own hand’s blood…no yellow brick road but a trail of red leads to His kiss of peace at the rail. Hosanna in the highest for He became the lowest to love and forgive you.

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

Saturday, November 23, 2013

LAST SUNDAY in the Church Year: Homily

Saint Matthew 25. 1-13
Last Sunday in Church Year: 24 November Anno Domini 2013
(Trinity 27 Propers)
Fr. Jay Watson SSP

In The Name + of Jesus

   The Word of God is clear. The Kingdom of heaven, or as it is elsewhere called by Christ The Kingdom of God, is His people, His own Body—His brothers, sisters—His Bride. Just as His Divine and Human Nature are joined in the hypostatic union of the One Jesus of Nazareth, so too the King, Christ Jesus, and the Kingdom, His Church & family, are one and inseparable.

   Only God knows His elect. Christians know that they are predestined because the Word has been applied and received through faith by the Grace of the Giver—God. Are you elect? Well, are you baptized; are you receiving the Eucharist this Mass; are you singing the Liturgy, praying the Our Father, and remembering your Baptism as you receive the Absolution from Christ? You are the five wise Virgins. You are not what you did, selected, or chose but rather you are what the Bridegroom made you.

   Not all men and women are elect Virgins, Not all of humanity will be saved from the final flood of fire.  It’s not that 50% will be damned and 50% saved but rather that five and five make a perfect ten. The five that are lost show you that the five books of Moses, the Law, save no one. Your works and efforts do not open the door to the Groom’s Mansion and banquet table. The ten virgins are all alike in this manner. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. No one deserves the Nuptial Hall. The Virgins in Jesus’ parable have no names or distinctive characteristics save one…the wise ones took oil in their vessels with their lamps. In the Hebrew Scriptures the Paraclete is referred to as the Wisdom of God. The Word is also God’s Wisdom made flesh!

   All men and women, to the naked eyes of all other men and women, look alike…sinful and unclean. That is how you appear to others. No one can see faith. What is seen are the good works and the confessions and actions of faith which produce martyrs. The anonymity of the Virgins is to show that in Christ’s Church Militant, as well as in the world at large, one cannot judge and blindly excommunicate solely on the base of appearances.

   Will an individual have light in their lamps from the necessary oil when the Groom meets them at the final trump?

   You like Cain and Abel, and Adam and Eve before them, were given your lamps. You have your body and souls purely as a gift from your creator! Oil is symbolic of that gift of faith by the Holy Ghost. Not all, not many perhaps, of those we call pagan have it…God’s will be done; may the Mission of the Church be accomplished in all the world! But even in those who appear to be in the family of the Church, not all wind up with oil at the day of reckoning. Abel had oil when he died a martyr; Cain appeared not to have any faith…no “fuel” to ward off the fire of hell. Saul and David were both claimed and crowned by God (via Samuel) but Saul’s eternal light was extinguished, not on Mount Gilboa but in the Calvary of his own rejecting and unbelieving heart. Judas surely had oil in his vessel in the beginning of his brief three-year Sainthood as a Disciple, one of the “12,” but when the Master meets all of you at the Parousia, it will be the denying Peter and the doubting Thomas who will greet you with their oil of belief, the gift of faith and adoption!

   Your lamps “look” good. But faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Even old and well used, worn-out looking lamps, are perfectly fine. Do you have oil? What did the Virgins do to have oil for they all fell asleep, that is they all died as sure as they all sinned—for the wages of sin is death. Christ says “but the wise took oil in their vessels…” They took says the text. One cannot, unfortunately use this somewhat cryptic verse to construct an entire theology of salvation but rather must use the rest of the Evangels to flesh out the body of truth. To “take,” here, means to protect, hold, and guard that which has been given. To “take” means not to despoil, throw away, discard, reject, or apostatize.

   You have been baptized? Good! You are + a Virgin in the “eyes” of your Triune God—clean, pure and unsullied through Christ’s Law-keeping and sin-atoning on the Cross. Do you remember, “take,” your Baptisms and repent your daily trespasses in contrition while “taking” the oil of absolution? Do you daily “take” the oil of the Word of Life found in your Groom’s love letters to you—the Scriptures? Do you “take” the oil of forgiveness, life and salvation in the Mass of Mercy every Lord’s Day and all other times it is dispensed for your healing and heaven? Good! Very good! Gospel!

   Like a mother lioness, dog, bear, rabbit, or any other warm blooded, milk producing mammal “knows” its own litter, its own cubs, pups, and kits; so too the Lord knows His own…they look like Him because they’re wearing + His wedding garment. They smell like Him scenting the room with myrrh, cassia, aloe, frankincense and Lillie. They speak like Him because they have had their lips open to declare His praise in the power of His Name. They bear the marks of the crucifixion in their own cross-bearing and faithful martyrdoms.  They are filled with the oil of Christ’s light because the Spirit abides in them.

I’m talking about you Virgins. And now, with the Blessed Virgin Saint Mary of Nazareth—your patron Saint—the exemplar/avatar of the entire Church Catholic; and with all the other Virgins who are Saints, Prophets, Apostles, Evangelists, Priests, Deacons, Presbyters and Bishops…now is the day, now is the hour, the Son of man cometh.

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

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Second Last Sunday in the Church Year (Trinity 26 Propers): Homily

Saint Matthew 25. 31-46
2nd Last Sunday: 17 November Anno Domini 2013
Trinity 26 Propers
Father Jay Watson SSP

In The + Name of Jesus

   Your sinful nature, your “old man” is nothing but a mangy, cantankerous goat. Not a cute petting-zoo kid but a satanic baal-headed 666 beast of blasphemy. Eve followed the serpent…and so does your “Old Adam.” Cain murdered his brother…so do you with hatred, strife, resentment, and selfishness.

   In the so-called ‘kingdom of the left,’ the world apart from the Lord, the world of self—your self—you in fact DO stand on the left; your sins and your sinful inner-sinner are in that line, that damned company, that demarcation of bar-sinister. Your trespasses, NOT the guy sitting to your left or right, NOT your tormentors and enemies, NOT the Muslim, Jew, Mormon or Atheist, BUT YOU deserved to be cursed, into “everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels!”  Following Eve and Adam, consenting to the lies of the dragon on his broad path to perdition leads to…perdition. You’ve not fed your brother with meat when he and his children were hungry. You’ve neither shared your abundance of food with the starving, nor fed them with the forgiveness of sins. You haven’t soothed the blistered and thirsty tongue or the open festering wounds of your neighbor by giving them Jesus, and His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Repent. When Christ says repent He doesn’t mean you should shrug and say: “oh well, nobody’s perfect” He means stop being selfish and love your neighbor as yourself! He means be contrite and remorseful that you are not perfect, and pray the Holy Ghost for greater fealty!  You’ve neither clothed your naked neighbor with raiment and apparel (your ratty cast-offs to Goodwill don’t meet the mark set by God) nor have you covered over their trespasses and sins by forgiveness and reconciliation. You say you follow the Prince of Peace but you worship at the altar of Ares the god of war. Repent! You’ve neither helped the Christian martyr—in—will who has been stripped of his freedom by enemies of Christ, nor visited him with Jesus’ words of comfort. Repent!

   But you say “I’ve been a good parishioner; I’ve read my Confessions and I’ve come to a majority of the services and given a pretty good slice of my disposable income that I haven’t needed for my other entertainment budget requirements.” Jesus says to the goat pack (yes pack, because in reality it is a pack which runs with the hell-hounds) “Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to Me.”  Repent! Repent and believe the Gospel. Oh there is such good news this morning!

   The Gospel this day, every day, for you, is that YOU ARE SHEEP and that Jesus is your Good Shepherd!

   Jesus “the Son of man shall come in His glory, and the holy angles with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory”…very soon this will happen and you will see it with resurrected and glorified eyes, to be sure. But this day, right now Jesus the Son of man, born of the Virgin Mary, and the Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, is Here in His Word, in His Body and in His Blood; in His invisible but present Mercy and Absolution—JUST FOR YOU! He is here with likewise with all His invisible seraphs and cherubs, with Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel, but also with His earthly angels and family—His apostles (& their successors) His disciples (you the parish family)!

   He has already separated the nations one from another. He the Good Shepherd has already culled the herd of humanity as a “shepherd divideth His sheep from the goats.” Jesus selected you to be on His right hand, the right hand of majesty, when He predestined you to eternal election before the world began! “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”  Jesus moved you to His right side again when He looked down upon you and your Mother at the atoning sacrifice at Calvary “Mother behold your son (and daughter); son behold your Mother.” You were placed on His right side—His righteous side when His heart was pierced for you and the fountain of forgiveness gushed over the believing world—faith worked in the Word by the Spirit claiming you as children of the Father. You inherited the first earnest of this selection when you were chosen again in Holy + Washing—the Sacrament of Baptism—marked and branded by Christ’s own right hand, right thumb tracing His crucifix both upon your forehead and upon your breast.

   But you hesitate in your fallen condition and you with Peter and Esaias protest: “depart from me Lord for I am an unclean man, with unclean lips, living amidst unclean people.” But He won’t leave you; instead He opens your eyes and lips by opening your ears with His loving “I forgive you!” When you look with only the eyes of the flesh you of course will fail to see the naked you’ve clothed, the thirsty you’ve given drink, and the homeless you’ve given shelter.

   Jesus speaks to you: “verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” As you have supported, prayed for, and received the gifts of Christ’s Graceful forgiveness and peace from His little ones—His pastors—you’ve done all good deeds in faith, IN CHRIST, through the Holy Ghost Who is your sanctification in action. When you receive Jesus, by faith, you receive His entire Body, not just His glorified, risen, flesh and blood, but His Body the Church—all his little ones, all his precious lambs. Christ’s good works ARE your good works, your sanctification!

   You who have been absolved IN HIS NAME with His pierced, scarred, and tender right + hand are beckoned now to His high table. For here, NOW, the Son of Man, the Second Perfect Adam, appears in service and humility.  He still has all power and dominion, though for a while His Church remains clothed in the Cross, still veiled in Bread and Wine. And by His Word, He THE WORD and His angels and archangels and all the host of heaven descend upon His altar throne and give you the true glory of pardon and peace.  Come to life eternal.

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

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Third Last Sunday in the Church Year (Trinity 25 Propers): Homily

Saint Matthew 24. 15-28
Third Last Sunday in Church Year (Trinity 25 Propers)
10 November Anno Domini 2013
Father Watson SSP

In The Name + of Jesus

   Jesus quotes Daniel because, as the Lord said elsewhere, “…the Scriptures…they testify…of Me” [Jn. 5.39]  The Lord tells the “12” and all His disciples “you shall see the abomination of desolation.” An abomination is not good. It is abominable—horrible, not meant to be. Desolation is wasteland—scarred earth salted with sulfur. To be desolate is the opposite of The Garden and fecundity. Abomination produces desolation. True desolation is the isolation of self-chosen exile from God’s love and grace--unbelief.

   It’s easy to say that the Papacy and the Council of Trent fits this description. It’s convenient to say that the heretical sects are being referenced. Yes; insofar as they “stand in the Holy Place” and desecrate that which is Holy. What does this mean?

   Christ is predicting the fall and destruction of Jerusalem which was to occur in the year 70—yes. Christ was predicting the final end of all time and earthly strife when He returns in glory at the final Advent—yes. Christ was commenting on all abominations which had occurred in past Jewish history; from the fall of Adam to the fall of the Hebrews in the 40-year desert, to the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar in the year 585 B.C.—yes.

   But Jesus’ Words are more than an accurate and truthful history lesson. Jesus is not just some wise and profound teacher and temporal miracle worker. Jesus is God in the flesh. Jesus is the Restorer of all creation. He is the Redeemer who buys back and purifies all that is abominable. He makes alive the dead; makes green the blackened; makes joyful the mournful; and makes brothers and sisters out of dead corpses. He THE Holy One makes holy ones!

   The real Abomination is that which denies Jesus and which spurns His gifts—His Person and His Work…period.

   Adam was abominable when he chose himself, the creature over and against the loving Lord—His Creator. The result of his attempted murder of God—really of Jesus—was banishment to the desolation of the wilderness of self; littered with dust, decay, thistles, death, and damnation. But The Savior saves—Jesus saves! The Lord would not let His children be plucked from His pierced palms.

   Homosexual activity abominable—yes it is. But your fornication, adultery, divorce and pornography sins are equally abominable. Repent!

   The fanatical Muslim and the secular Jew are abominable worshipping their false gods—yes they are. But your fanaticism for sports, entertainment, state-worship, politics, creature comforts and money—your breaking of the First Table is equally abominable. Repent!

    The Abomination of Desolation; was it Antiochus IV Epiphanes (“god manifest”) in 167 B.C. (as Rabbinic tradition maintains) or was it Caesar Vespasian’s imperial Roman standards and flags (eagle emblazoned ensigns) placed in the Temple in 70 A.D. that was “the” Abomination of Desolation? The blessed Saint John Chrysostom thought the armies of Rome themselves encircling Jerusalem was the Abomination—certainly when they were finished—there was naught but desolation.

    Yes, yes, and yes. These scripturally referenced idols were true desolating sacrileges. The very holy place where the Holy Trinity had marked Its + Presence (The Name of God making Holy), received blood sacrifices in a typological way in anticipation of The Paschal Lamb, the Throne of King David and the Holy of Holies tabernacling the Ark of the Covenant, was Holy, Sacred, set-apart and Gods. To have it vandalized by unclean (unbelieving) hands and blasphemed by pagans was horrible almost beyond description. But for the Jews, what was done away with?  The rejectors of God’s Christ (Caiaphas’s descendents—the Pharisees and Sadducees) lost their temple sacrifices; their political identity and hegemony. But God’s New Israel lost nothing but an ancestral home—for their New Temple, their Blood Sacrifice, their Food and Forgiveness continued(s) in the Presence of the God/Man Christ crucified; wherever they are gathered by the Spirit around Jesus’ actual presence in Word and Eucharist. “For wheresoever the carcass [the body] is there will the eagles be gathered together.”

   Dear Saints, the desolating sacrilege is not that which destroys buildings, treasures, homes, and lives (“…take they our life, goods, fame, child, and wife”).  The Abomination of Desolation is even more than sin—as abominable and desolate as sin is. Repent! The Abomination is to deny, refuse, malign, water-down (synergize) Jesus Christ and Him crucified for the forgiveness of sins. The Abomination attacks and tries to destroy the Gospel itself!  Justification by Grace through Faith in Christ—the free gift of forgiveness of your sins by Jesus’ life, sacrificial death, resurrection, and Bodily Presence in Word, Water, and Supper—and not of works, lest no one can boast…when THIS is attacked, not by the Roman Legions or the bully boys of Herod, but by works-righteous synergists be they Papists, Sectarian Zwinglians and their ilk, or your own in-bred crypto Pharisee and pompous Sadducee) there is the Abomination that spits on Jesus, dresses Him with Thorns, and mocks His Person and Work. Repent!

   Fight and repudiate (i.e. believe, teach and confess) against the Pope and the Protestant when that fight comes to you. But seek not quixotic quests when the real and immediate battle is in and with you. When Luther says “Repent” it’s because The Baptizer and the Christ say Repent! Drown the old-Adam daily, and while wringing its scaly neck in the flood from the Font + and the Tree, drown your own old Nebuchadnezzar, Antiochus, Caesar and Pope Leo while you’re at it.

   Do not come down from the housetop for mammon. Affix your eyes to the Holy Crucifix where the Lamb was lifted up to bleed, suffer and die for you the abominable. He was made abominable for you that you might never be desolate but rather be surrounded in this Family, this Garden, and this Wedding Feast. You wear and are marked by Living Crucifix, Baptized + in that which you hear and will soon taste. Your sins are forgiven in Jesus’ Name!

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

Saturday, November 2, 2013

23rd Sunday after Trinity (Trinity 24 Propers/Michaelmas Skip): Homily

Saint Matthew 9. 18-26
23rd Sunday after Trinity (Trinity 24 propers/Michaelmas skip)
3 November Anno Domini 2013
Fr. J. Bill Watson SSP

In The Name + of Jesus

   There’s only one ruler and it’s not the “certain ruler” who came to Christ. It is Christ Jesus Who is Ruler because it is Christ Who is God!

   That is the scandal and stumbling block. Not that there is a God but that it is a Nazarene carpenter’s son who walked around Palestine two millennia ago. The off-putting thing to man’s unbelief, and rejecting enemy nature, is that this Jesus was neither powerful, nor successful. He was common and ordinary to look at, and He wound up arrested by the government, convicted of the high-crime of treason, and executed like a traitorous and dangerous criminal. Why, if you’d been around back then you would’ve wanted him taken to Gitmo, water-boarded, and rubbed out like a dangerous crazed Bin-laden revolutionary.

   The eyes of man can never see the things of God. Only the Holy Spirit can create and sustain faith in a disciple’s heart. Such was a disciple who happened to be a ruler, Jairus by name, who came and worshiped Jesus as the Messiah of God. Jairus knew that the hand of God, the hand of Jesus, would bring his dead daughter back to life.

   Pagans, and sinful confessional “Lutherans” for that matter, can avoid and obfuscate and pretend that Jesus isn’t always there…for a while—until death! Death is not only the great equalizer, but also the unavoidable ‘elephant in the corner of the room.’

   To be sure, sickness and death don’t always get the attention of unbelievers so as to kindle in them belief in the Lord of Holy Scripture. In fact as Paul notes, the heathen grieve in their own pitiful and meaningless ways which is tragic beyond words. Jairus felt a pain that no one should ever have to endure—the death of his child. He grieved and wept, and…had faith in Christ. He clung to Jesus as his only hope.  Jesus and the “12” followed Jairus. The man who clings to Jesus will always have Jesus following him. You, like Jairus, are now temples of the Holy Ghost. Where you go, your vessel contains God the 3rd person who continually gives you the Word of God, Jesus, in His words and presence. You weren’t baptized, you ARE + baptized!

   What does it mean to “live,” and what does it mean to be “healed.”  Temporarily speaking, in the “here & now” we understand life and good health. But because of aging, chronic sickness, and death, we all look for something deeper, greater, lasting and transcendent. Both pagans and believers yearn for an after-life. The only answer comes from Christ the Word; thus the Apostle:

   Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. [1 Cor.15. 12-23]

   When fathers and mothers continue to lose their young daughters, and young sons, these words will not “feel” like enough—they will not wipe the tears or mend the shredded heart—not instantly. But these words are all that The Lord has given us.  In these Words He gives us The Word made Flesh. In these words, and other Holy Words, He gives us a + re-birth that conquers the second death and He gives us an imperishable, resurrected, glorified, and divinized Body to eat, and precious eternal immortal Blood to drink. It is enough because it IS Jesus the God/Man Himself!

    The Lord went to Jairus’ house as He comes to you in your + house, your homes, your House of Word & Sacrament, and will be in your temporary wooden box house, 6 feet down, until He ushers you into His house, your new Heavenly Mansion.

    The man-centered contemporary worship of the noise-makers and minstrels gave way to the mellifluous and creative Word of Christ: talitha cumi. The girl who was dead was alive again IN CHRIST!

   This will not happen in like manner when you burry your children, spouses, brethren, parents and loved ones. But what will happen is that with Jairus-like faith, with faith like the woman with the 12-year flow of blood, you will reach out and touch the hem of Christ’s robe; you will touch and receive Baptism, Absolution, Scripture and Supper. And you will believe and be given peace knowing that Jairus’ daughter (who ended up dying again at a later date) and you; and your believing brethren, will all awake to see the same shining, piercing, loving eyes looking down at you. Jesus will take you by the hand and your will arise—forever!

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