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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Saint Luke 2.21
31 December Anno + Domini 2014
Fr Jay Watson SSP

In The + NAME of JESUS

   “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Thy Name in all the earth.”

   Words mean things. The most powerful of all words are Names, nouns of identity. There are tribal names that are ethnic, religious, and national in scope. There are family names that indicate who are your ancestors—what the clan.  And then there are individual names attached to each human being—a one-on-one denominator.  We, in what’s left of the Christian West, call this our “Christian Name” because for close to two-thousand years these names were given at Holy + Baptism.  “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” [Gal. 3.26-27]

    In the beginning God said.  In the beginning The Blessed and Holy Trinity spoke.  In the beginning was The Word.  There was never a time when there was not The Word.  The Son of God, the Second Person, made all things.  God made the first in His own image…in “their” image…i.e. a relational intelligent, reflective, loving, sharing, communicating, nurturing, creative, communal being.  If there is only one there is no need for a name.  But there has always been three-in-one and one-in-three.  

   As God is within Himself fellowship, so too he created in love a special creature to have communion with.   The Lord named this creature Adam i.e. “man.”   This was Adam’s “Christian” name, for He was made by same Word Who would one day be incarnated as Jesus the Christ   Adam’s name became the generic name for all of his descendants until the end of time.

    Resting on the seventh day, the Sabbath as it would later be named during the time of Moses, The Lord saw all that He had made was good.

    In naming His land creations, The Lord brought Adam into the creative process in-so-far as Adam was allowed to call each creature a name that would be its name.  We might say that God used this first pastor, in “the stead and by His command,” to speak His Word that, gave what it said, and that was what it proclaimed.

    Adam the “man,” and his wife, the wo-man, for she was taken from out of man, Eve—first mother of all—were in the eighth day of the New Creation but then things went afoul; they became foul and feculent in their fall; their sinful rebellion. They cut themselves off from God by their treason. Their own sins caused them to be cut off from communing with The Lord the way they had; caused them to be cut off from access to the Garden.  The deep cut of the serpent fangs had bit deep, and still, that poison festers in your own “old Adam” heart…a heart, of itself, which pumps out all sorts of sin. 

   The Lord Himself on the Eternal Eighth Day was the solution.  The final cut, the ultimate cut, the cut which was made from before creation, would be the cuts made in the Body of the innocent and pure Christ.   The Son of God after the Annunciation voluntarily cut Himself off from the fullness of Heavenly splendor.   Soon this Emmanuel would be cut off from His brethren and designated not just blessed Rabbi, but Holy Messias at the Jordan—when the sky was cut open at the descent of The Spirit.   Soon this Emmanuel would be cut, and spiked, and torn, and punctured on Calvary’s Tree of Death.

    And this Holy Feast day we celebrate when this Emmanuel, only eight days old, was cut in the circumcising of His foreskin.  The Holy God/Baby was cut and bled the blood of God for you. There is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood.  Every lamb’s throat cut for Tabernacle and Temple worship, was cut out of the land of the living to make propitiation for the sins of the priests and people—in lieu of, and because of, the coming Agnus Dei at Calvary.  There is no Savior without the act of saving. There is no Jesus without the act of being the sin-bearer, the Law keeper, the atoning sacrifice cut and bleeding to death.

   When He first shed His precious Blood for your repatriation, rest, and righteous status with God, He was named by Joseph “JESUS, which was so named of the angel before He was conceived in the womb.”

   But He was always Jesus, i.e. He was always Savior Son of The Father “from all eternity, begotten not made, being of the same substance with The Father.”    He was in the words of Saint John’s Apocalypse “…The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” [Rev. 13.8]

   You and your kind “were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterward be revealed.”   You were straitjacketed, cocooned, and wrapped in burial shrouds, until they were cut off from your newly washed, + breathing, and regally clothed body; cut off at the Holy font.   As Paul tells you “…Ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ.” [Col. 2.11]

    This is no distant memorial but your ever present New Year, New Day, New RIGHT NOW, New Forever, in Jesus’ Body, cut and circumcised, to cut away from you all your trespasses, and in His Blood, shed to wash your wounds clean and to fill you with Life.

   He has and will always bleed into the Chalice in Eucharistic and Consecrated wine, and into the Font for your daily confession and drowning. “Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, Who hath raised Him from the dead.” [Col. 2.12]

   “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”  He is His Name and His Name is Him!

   He is The Circumcised One for you; He is The Pierced One for you.  He knows your pain and burdens because He too was cut and wounded in all ways possible. But only in that Blood outpouring is there that name Jesus. 

   At the name of Jesus every knee should bow of things in heaven and things in earth and things under the earth; and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God, The Father.

In The Name + of JESUS

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Sunday after Christmas [2014]: Homily

Saint Luke 2. 33-40
The Sunday after Christmas: 28 December Anno + Domini 2014
[Holy + Innocents Day]
Fr Jay Watson SSP

In The + Name of Jesus

   Today is the Sunday after The Christ Mass. Today is also Holy Innocents Day. “Old Adam” tries to ignore both days. Sinful man, sinful Christians, have moved on from stables, evergreens, presents for immediate family, and is already planning useless “new years’ resolutions” with synergistic swinishness.  Repent.

   Repent of your lack of reverent piety. It is still the octave—the church season—of Christmas until the vigil of Epiphany on January 5th.  Breathe in Holy Scripture, the Word of The Lord, and let the Blessed Holy Family—Saint Joseph and The Blessed Virgin guide you in “marveling at those things which were spoken of Him.”

   Mary and Joseph knew what Arch Angel Gabriel had said; what the Host of Sabaoth had sung over the Judean fields—what had been Gospelled to them by the shepherds (and what you sang on The Feast of The Nativity Thursday in the Gloria in Excelsis)…and so do you;  IF you receive The Word.  Repent of your carnal and profane worldliness and read, mark, learn and inwardly digest Sacred Writ. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear”

   Our Holy Family also hears this morning Saint Anna and Saint Simeon: “Behold this Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be spoken against.”

  Since Adam fell, jumped into the manure of “self” man has been falling. You fall daily to ego and to the worlds allurements. In today’s sorry decaying world unborn babies fall under the knife, the suction devices, and chemically poisonous abortifacients. Herod had a satanically evil reason for slaughtering the young boys of Bethlehem.  But the reasons today for the holocaust, which has piled up corpses since 1973, are every bit, if not more so, monstrous. That King sought personal tyranny and continued monarchy. Today, killers butcher for “choice,” comfort, life-style, and filthy lucre. Pray for the deceived and misguided who are lured by the same serpent lie “you can be like gods.”  Comfort all the “Rachel’s” who are weeping for their children which are not more.  And follow the blood. The blood Christ shed on His own 8th day atoned for and covered the boys of Bethlehem making them indeed Holy + Innocents, confirmed from before time and sealed in His own Old Testament sacrament of Circumcision. They now wait secure for the resurrection of all flesh.  The “sign which shall be spoken against”—which is spoken against and persecuted—is Jesus’ sign of The Holy Cross—His Body and Blood given as a ransom for sin and all sinners. 

   Christmas is not for wimps. A soft easy life is that which is craved by the heathen and the fallen nature even in Jesus’ family members.  Blood is the antidote when it’s the Blood of The Lamb.

   The swords which pierced the young hearts of the boys under two years of age, which pierce all the little ones in-utero, have been turned into glorious palms of peace and rest by the Sword of the Spirit, the Holy Ghost, giving you the Jesus who had the sword—the nails, thorns, whip, and spear—pierce Him unto suffering and death.

   You experience a lot of suffering and pain as human beings. Yes.  Everyone does and will. But as disciples of The Lord you also experience a cruciform life—suffering for the faith like Saint Stephen proto-martyr, Saint John, and the Holy Innocents.  Our Holy Mother Saint Mary, the icon of the Church, experienced a pain which no mother should ever have to endure—made even more profound and poignant because she had known from the beginning that her beloved Son was the Son of God, was God!  From cradling The Lord in the stable to cradling His lifeless Body when Nicodemus and Joseph removed it from the cross, her life, your life, our life is always under that cross and covered in that precious Body.

   The Body that is alive and now forever glorious.

Jesus revealed His heart in her womb, in her arms at the crèche, and on the true Christ Mass tree of Calvary. Jesus reveals His heart for you today and places His Blood into your broken hearts filling you with wisdom and grace. Jesus rose…is risen…and lifts you up from the grave or sorrow and one day dirt!

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

Thursday, December 25, 2014

THE CHRIST MASS [2014]: Homily

Saint John 1. 1-18
THE CHRIST MASS: 25 December Anno + Domini 2014
Fr Jay Watson SSP
In The Name + of Jesus

   God is not known by mysticism, i.e. looking within oneself.  God is not known by charismaticism, i.e. looking for miraculous outward signs and wonders.  You do not know God by reason, rationalism, or science, i.e. also looking “without” but with your brain.  God only comes by His revelation to you—and it is only in, with, through and by The Word.  The Word of Holy Scripture preserves in solid visible form, God The Word—also solid and real but ever-so “outside” the perception of visible sinful eyesight. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by The Word of God.” [Ro. 10.17]

   God had Moses record “In the beginning God created heaven and earth.” [Ge. 1.1]  God had blessed Saint John fully interpret and unpack this creation “In the beginning was The Word, and The Word was with God, and The Word was God.” [Jn. 1.1]

   You need not try and plumb the depths of inter-Trinitarian essence for God has given you His Son.

You don’t have to try and imagine or “capture” The Father or The Paraclete because The Lord Jesus has captured you, i.e. rescued you from Satan’ gaol.  Why the Christ Mass?  “For God so loved the world…not that the world or you were loveable or deserving—you were not, you were enemy traitors—but, God loved the world this way “that He gave His only-begotten Son.” [Jn. 3.16]

   Your sin and damnation, you and your father Adam did not cause the Incarnation and Nativity of Christ The God/Man.  You as you, even your sin, are not the reason for the season.  God does nothing by way of coercion, compulsion, necessity, or re-set.  God is love. God’s love is creative, sharing, communing, and restorative.  God’s action is mercy and peace bringing.  God’s love is forgiving and healing.  A healed man repents and fights against the trespasses which bring further illness.

   On the Christ Mass, and every day, you give thanks unto The Father with Saint Paul that “God hath made you meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints of light; Who hath delivered you from the power of darkness, and hath translated you into the kingdom of His dear Son. In Whom you have redemption through His Blood, even the forgiveness of sins.” [Col. 1. 12-14]

   The life of the baby in the manger, the baby which had been carried in the Virgin’s womb, the ark of the New Testament, is the life of light—the life of all Who receive it in Word and who eat and drink it—that Blood and that Body. The Christ Mass is both The Christ—His identity, and His Mass—His Work of obedience and atonement in Body and Blood now received this day of light. 

   You eat and drink not just bread and wine but Very God of Very God and Light of Light.

   The darkness of your sorrow and separation are flooded with true light of He Who is Truth and Light.

   Again the Apostle tells you Who you feast upon, Jesus Who “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature. For by Him were all things created…all things were created by Him and for Him.” [vv. 15-16]

   Matthew 1 and Luke 2 are beautiful records of past Gospel events with current Gospel delivery and presence to be sure.  But John’s prologue is the meat of the Bread which once lay in the manger but this day is placed on your tongues.

   You receive the God/Man in His Sacrament and receive His power. You are strengthened as the sons of God. The Holy Ghost strengthens your faith in Him as you are IN Him and He is placed IN you.

   You were born sinful from your earthly mothers by the choice of your mother and father; a contingent act, the result of their actions. You were born in bondage and degradation.

   The Christ was born by His own will and desire to sanctify human flesh by taking it into His Godhood. He re-birthed you at His font, His Church, His mother’s watery womb by His will and action.

   Those seeing Moses as an end, trying to live by their doing the Law perfectly, rejected the Light and Life of the Nazarene. Nazareth rejected Messiah. Pharisees, Sadducees, and High Priests rejected Christ.  All those today who see Moses, their own little Moses-like pieties and methods, as the end, also spit on Him and crucify Him again.

   But those like you who receive The Word made Flesh, in The Word and in The Flesh, receive Grace—Christ Jesus!

   “No man hath seen God at any time” writes the Evangelist. True! No man views the un-shaded Trinity as Trinity. But the “only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of The Father, He hath declared Him.”  Jesus declares God to you in Himself.

   You have the Father, our Father Who art in heaven, because you eat and drink the Son.  Paul reminds you “in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” [Col. 2.9]  Or even better, Christ’s own words to you and Philip “have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” [Jn. 14.9]  You do more than see; you dine with and upon Jesus.

   In Holy Communion The Word Who is Flesh and always will be Flesh, will soon be in bread and wine, and will dwell among, and in, you.  In Christ, Christ In you, you the body, Jesus your Head, are the glory, “…as of the only begotten of The Father, full of grace and truth.”

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

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Vigil of The Christ Mass [2014] : Christmas Eve Homily

Saint Luke 2. 1-14
Vigil of The Christ-Mass [Christmas Eve]: 24 December Anno + Domini 2014
Fr Jay Watson SSP

In The Name + of Jesus

   If one thinks they are forgiven only because they think they are…maybe they’re not.  Have your feelings ever been wrong?  All the time.  If one thinks they are okay and are going to get to go to some really great afterlife because they’ve “heard” some inner voice in their head telling them so—they are probably mentally ill.  And if a person thinks Valhalla, the Elysian Fields, Buddhist Nirvana, or Abraham’s Bosom will be attained by their own innate goodness or dedicated hard work of spiritual exercise and philanthropic works of mercy, they will be very surprised when they find they’re spending eternity in hell.

   Forgiveness needs a real Forgiver! Salvation needs a Savior not an idea, theme, cosmic principle, or gauzy memory of…even an event two-thousand years ago.

   Tonight is no birthday party. There is no baby. There is only Emmanuel: God with us!  You either believe that or not.  Jesus is not God remembered but God with us.  And not just that, for God the Blessed Trinity is omnipresent and always with you; with everything, but the God/Man with us.

   There are some who are dismissively called C/E church-goers, those who only darken parish pews on Christmas and Easter.  That doesn’t matter because The Holy Ghost calls by Christ’s Gospel when and where He does.  Those who come twice a year to be in Jesus’ presence are at least in His presence then, and we pray that it will be every Sunday to be sure.

   I also don’t really care “why” you are here tonight. Rather I am grateful to God that you are: period.

   There were taxes from Caesar and there always will be. There is census taking then and now. There is always sin and the desire to control other people: steal their goods, livelihood, sons, and freedom—from Cain to Pharaoh; from Caesar to all golden-calf governments.  The hurt done to your fellow man and yourselves, the hurt you inflict, is part and parcel of the hurt you inflict upon God by being sinner. 

   Speculating on “how” God could have fixed things is sinful.  We know how The Lord restored the breach and brought damned corpses back to life. We know all that God desires through His Holy Word!  There is no Pentecost, no Ascension, no Easter, and no Atonement on Calvary worth a damn without the Incarnation of God…and it’s revelation in Jesus’ Holy Nativity!  There is no God for you save Jesus in His Body and Blood.  That Body and Blood, that Emmanuel, came for you when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.  That enfleshed Lamb was carried in the womb of a Virgin. That blood-pumping Scapegoat was suckled at the breasts from which He created and which He took His own human flesh and blood from.  That pierced-One Who was laid in the manger will deign to lay in the Chalice and Ciborium on the morrow…to lay on your tongue.  Emmanuel.

   The first sinful and fallen Adam was told—even before the “Fall”—to take his bride and become one flesh.  That’s what it is about…one flesh…Communion…unity with God…marriage, one metaphor; sonship, another; branches to the vine, yes; and the Body to Christ the Head one more of many!  Incarnation means Holy Family, now by imputation, and very soon by the transformation of resurrection glory.

   God became man, the perfect man, to do what you can’t, what Adam didn’t.  God is the perfect Man Who paid your debts in His Blood, in His Body carved and riven in your place. But the Incarnated One also obeyed in that real Flesh of a real Man.

   All happened, and happens, by Emmanuel in Incarnation. Jesus is risen and glorified and always unites perfectly in One Christ both Divinity and Humanity. He sits at the right hand of power, of The Father, with the assumed flesh of the Virgin—your assumed humanity.  He cleanses all flesh—homosexual flesh, adulterous flesh, venal, craven, lying, cheating, gossiping, angry, prideful, domineering, petty, ungrateful, and your flesh in His Flesh!

   You will never become gods, like one twisted perversion (now growing and popular in America) teaches.  But you will rise imperishable and glorified with an everlasting Body again restored in His image and likeness. 

   The Holy Nativity is forever. The crèche—the stable—is forever. But The Lord is not in a cave and not in Palestine. He is here in His good news of remission and absolution, yes; but not because of a “force,” precept, obedience of your consent, or an emotional high or commitment.  The Lord is present at the Incarnated God/Man.

   The Christ-Mass—not a “sign” of a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, but the reality of a Christ wrapped in a real Body forever…forever with you…forever in your ears and in your bodies.

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

Sunday, December 21, 2014

RORATE COELI - - the Fourth Sunday of Adventide: SERMON

Saint John 1. 19-28
RORATE COELI: 21 December Anno + Domini 2014
Fr Jay Watson SSP

In The Name + of Jesus

   Three weeks ago the Word came: Jesus riding into Jerusalem on an ass. But Christ told you I Am with always unto the end of the age. Your “old Adam” is the ass if you view the triumphal entry as history only. Jesus said I Am in your midst on the beasts of burden—the humble waters in your inexpensive font, and the Body and Blood I shed for you on the Tree, in the likewise inexpensive wine and card-board unleavened wafers of bread.

   Two weeks ago the Word came: Jesus predicting the end of the first Jerusalem and also the end of this present age. But He was here in this chancel and nave telling you “The end is nigh but the signs of the new heavens and new earth are for you in forgiveness: I absolve you in the words of the pastor I have placed in My stead.”

   Last week the Word came: events of John the Baptist’s incarceration, and his sermon to his last two followers.  Inspirational to be sure, but John’s sermon was the pastors sermon: “Christ is here cleansing you lepers, healing you + demon possessed, feeding you hungry, and preaching peace to you who have no peace of yourselves.”

   “About” is interesting but ultimately empty. “IS” wipes away tears, binds up wounds, and hugs you with heaven’s God/Man Who is your brother.

   Priests and Pharisees wanted to know who John was. What they were really bitching about was where this loser was getting off Baptizing…washing the “good people” and not just the scum of society; washing “babies” and not just those properly instructed in man-made rabbinical minutiae.  Nothing has changed.  You too don’t think the “good people,” i.e. “you” should have your sins condemned; after all you’re just “telling the truth” “being honest” and sticking up for “this or that” American tradition.  And you ask pastors all the time “where in the heck are you getting the idea that you can do this or that?” “Who art thou?” “Who do you think you are… Jesus?”  While little children far better understand what a Lutheran priest says when he speaks the page 16 absolution every Mass than adults (“there’s Jesus”) pastors are not Jesus. But all sinners are the pope. All parishioners and pastors are tyrannical little demi-gods strutting around hurting as many people as “old Adam” can get his skeletal hands on.  Repent.

   I am not ashamed of the Gospel It, He, the Christ, is the power of salvation for He is Savior: The God/Man.  I proclaim The Lord Jesus.

   Am I John the Baptist?  Am I Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist? Am I Elias?  No.  Am I like them, prophetic and apostolic, as I administer the Office of the Holy Ministry into which Christ has placed me?  Yes.  For saying yes, and for exercising the Office and administering the sacraments, I, and men just like me, sinful and unclean but also called and ordained, are at times despised by protestant visitors and also long-time “establishmentarian pseudo-Lutherans.”  Repent of your old nature’s yearning towards being either. 

   You are baptized because Jesus did so through a man He sent.  Christ crucified is placed in your ears because Jesus speaks through His Word given by His preacher. You eat His Body and drink His Blood administered by His steward of the mysteries.   It’s not about your love and honor for John Zebedee or The Baptist himself.

   Jesus comes before His prophets and apostles and you. He comes again soon, after all this, to give you everything!

   Jesus is here because He loves you and wants you with Him this morning but also every morning. He wants you to hear His voice—this morning in a 60-year old voice of American English with a kind of Kansas patina over a long-lost Minnesota accent.

   He knows you are in the wilderness. I am there too. You know it’s not Eden and you languish and yearn for some succor.  This heat, hunger, and barren loneliness is a trial indeed.  But the Cloud of Christ shades you by day. You are + Baptized. You are in His Word in Scripture, prayer, study, and the daily Offices.  The Fiery Pillar of Jesus protects you during your dark nights even while you are surround by demonic lions, jackals, and other beasts from hell—world’s allurements, guilty memories, fleshly and chronic sins of “old Adam.”

   “Make straight the way of the Lord.” Repent and believe. You cannot blaze the path to heaven. You cannot walk the walk to paradise. You can’t make the crooked straight, the broken and bowed upright, or plumb the proper course to the harbor of Light.  Jesus can.  Jesus did.  He was made very straight on the straight wood of the tree.  In His Body given you have the Way; in His shed Blood you have The Truth and The Life.

   Jesus stands amongst you at the Font—your new Name burned and + traced into your regenerated flesh by His Water and Blood.  Jesus stands amongst you at this word-house of pulpit—Bread.  Jesus will in minutes stand amongst you in Chalice and Host.

These things are done in Beth-Augsburg beyond the Kaw, where Jesus is embracing you.

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

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Adventide Midweek Thursday # 3 [2014]: HOMILY

Christ’s Kingdom of Grace
Adventide Midweek 3: 18 December Anno + Domini 2014
Fr Jay Watson SSP

In The Name + of The King, Christ Jesus

   God is awesome, powerful, and omnipotent. God created all from nothing. [Gen 1.1 ff]  God sustains the vast universes, galaxies, planet earth, and you. But that doesn’t comfort you much as you age, become daily more infirm, and see your loved ones die. A transcendent God is a truth that doesn’t wipe away the tears.

   God is King, Judge, and the Fullness of everlasting life which comes for His own at the end of this time and space—at the final Advent—when the motion of events changing are taken into the Heavenly realms of unchanging eternal glory, bliss, and peaceful rest. And it won’t be a boring or dull stasis but a lively, laughing, and loving mansion-meal of Mercy!  But while that does comfort you and give you hope and strength, that too is not quite now.   It’s close; it’s at the door; it’s shimmering just over the horizon like a mirage about to become solid and stable…but it doesn’t take away the emptiness and fear, of children gone astray, unemployment, addictions, failed marriages, internal turmoils over things you want to control—but can’t.

   You are sinners but you don’t really even understand that…because you are a sinner.  You are Pharisees, I am a Pharisee; you are “old adams” (simul peccator) and so am I.   Would it do any good for me to preach right now each of the 10 Commandments in specificity, look at each of you, and try to mirror your own personal breaking of said Law in thought, word, and deed—just today?  Maybe. Yes. Your newly + washed creation would grasp the bloody bleeding sinful entrails gushing out of your ripped open bowels and you would sink to your knees (at least spiritually) and cry with Bartimaeus, Mary Magdalene, King David, Adam, and Paul “Lord have mercy upon me a sinner!”  But your sinful nature would bristle and “humph” and clench fists in cussed rage over the “other guy”…the one you spend most of the day hating.

   What are you? Why are you? Where are you? Can anyone save you from this body of decay and damnation?  Transcendence in God is not enough.

   Why does the sermon bore you: tonight’s and every Sunday’s?   What does it take?  Not me, not you, not any deed or devotion, not any self-chosen work of sanctification—good though they are, and not anything in this world will save you and give you a sense of wholeness.  Advent is hard on people. Every day is hard on you.  Christmas is NOT the most special time in the world for people, for you, no matter what Coca-Cola, the NFL, Hallmark, and your past memories cajole, suggest, or demand.  It is a time when past remembrances of perceived ‘better-times’ dredge up the loss, the dislocation, and the passing of this present evil age. 

   Okay, now you sigh, “pastor is going to end with some generic Gospel of how Jesus loves me, kept all that Law for me, suffered and died on the Cross, and is not just for me but with me—Amen.”    Yes. What else is there for a blood bought Saint but Blood—Blood of God?

   The Church IS.  You are.  While you want easy, “fixed now,” joy as you perceive it, semblance of control and well-being, sense of progress, and damn it…even a small miracle now and then…what do you get—a seeming dark night of weeping and an ugly tomorrow of everything flying apart at an even faster break-neck speed.  Your center cannot hold.

But His does. His center was speared through and gushed out Blood and Water.  That is His Church washing over you all.

   Jesus has His Kingdom of Grace in His Church and its parishes, and that my friends is all that there is and all that matters.  I’m not even sorry that the only answer seems repetitive and not instantly gratifying.  You suffer and you will suffer. You are daily martyred in spirit and mayhaps be martyred in body sooner than anyone imagines.  The life you live while under the cross—a phrase that you think is used too often and that you’re frankly tired of hearing, is your new birthright in His Holy + adoption of you.  It too IS!

   Sure, too long of a homily for a Thursday night…too much explication without attending Bible verses…to much “blah blah”  “about” and not enough IS, even after using the word. 

  Jesus loves you…and you…and…

  Jesus is with you, not in spirit and feeling, but in truth and bodily Presence! You have an imminent God/Man.  Jesus is holding you now in your wetness—tears morphing, changing, into your vine-like new creation’s moist life of belonging. You are grafted into His very Body in this parish, this Church of which He is Head and Heart.  Jesus forgives you…now…He forgives you everything. He weeps over your gut-hurt and your loss.  He groans over your loneliness and illness as much as He groaned over your sins 2,000 years ago on that hideous and beautiful tree.  He loves over your hate and embraces you tight in this His family, Augsburg now with all its imperfections and warts, and Heaven soon, very soon.  Now is your Advent, soon will be the always Mass. 

   Here, this evening, this NOW, you are safe and home in the only family that really matters…really IS…His Kingdom of Grace.

   I love you.

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


 Sure, this little bloglet (least amongst those still left in cyberspace) has only 11 official "followers."  And to be sure, I no longer post as much as I did at the outset--save for my weekly (or weakly) homilies...still, I will go on publishing till  the Parousia for one reason only... HERR DOKTOR.
His comments on my posts are worth their weight in gold, and far superior to the original blog's posts.  I am saying this because it is true, not to garner more tidbits from his sui generis pen (or keyboard).
  I hope this bouquet of maudlin hero-worship doesn't embarrass him...but, ah heck, I don't care.
He is the most brilliant and friendly, and kindly (had to have three for a Trinitarian effect) Lutheran layman on the North American continent; heck, maybe the entire western hemisphere.
  I am honored and blessed to call him friend.
  The Lord is good.

- - Fr J

p.s.  the photo above is to prove that I DO actually know this Saint! :D

Monday, December 15, 2014



Writes Ralph Raico:
One of my minor pet peeves is how L.A. is constantly referred to as “the City of Angels.” It’s not. It’s the City of Mary. The full original, Spanish name is, “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora, Reina de los Angeles.” “The City of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels.” Do you think that people are plain ignorant? Or is it that they don’t like to mention the name of Jesus’s Mother?


Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Nine-Month Advent Nearing Its End

 Whether our Blessed Mother, Saint Mary Ever-Virgin, Theotokos, ever actually rode a donkey on her way to Bethlehem (or whether she walked) is somewhat moot...she was quite (quite) along in her Holy pregnancy nonetheless.  Her period of ADVENT was drawing to fruition--as soon The Sacred Fruit would tabernacle forever amongst us as IMMANUEL!

   An interesting quote I recently came across (if it's legitimate--as I found it on an old Roman Catholic calendar) is worth sharing:

"Hail, Mother and Virgin, living and immortal tabernacle of God, the world's treasure and ligth, ornament of virgins, support of true faith, firm foundation of every church. You who gave birth to God, and carried under your pure heart, Him Whom space cannot contain. You through whom the Holy Trinity is praised and worshipped, and through whom the holy cross is venerated in the whole world...who can praise you who are above all praise?"

- - St. Cyril of Alexandria, Bp, C, Doctor of the Church (+444)

   While there is much that a Lutheran can disagree with in this prayer/paen, there is still some verity contained.  Saint Mary of Nazareth is truly Gottesmutter and gave birth to not just "the Lord," but to "God."  She is worthy of a whole lot more praise and respect than is usually afforded her by contemporary Lutheranism. Much the pity.

   And, oh.... Saint Cyril is one tough, brass-nuckled theologian for the "smack-down" he layed on Nestorius the weasel.

   Just sayin'

Steeleye Span - Gaudete - Lyrics

GAUDETE - - The Third Sunday of Adventide: SERMON

Saint Matthew 11. 2-10
Gaudete: 14 December Anno + Domini 2014
Fr Jay Watson SSP

In The Name + of Jesus

   Someone once wrote “the fact no gentleman is a hero to his butler is not because there are no heroes…but because all butlers are butlers.” He meant that the sin of pride and vanity is “old Adam” always tearing down the neighbor and harming the “other” in order to build up the slimy sinful self!  Self-justification demands scape goating, demonization of others, and theological Manichaeism—the Satan inspired teaching that “I am the good guy and the other is the bad guy;” light and dark!

   Adam was the first and is honored as such. But his place is diminished by his treason. Praise the Lord that the Second and perfect Adam has rescued him and his traitor wife from the tortures of hell (or as other monsters would say ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ of hades).  Abram is Abraham our spiritual father. And Moses is Moses the greatest of Hebrew saints. King David is the “apple of our Lord’s eye” and Elias was blessed to not only “not die” but to stand with the Lord face-to-face on at Transfiguration. Yet these heroes of the faith, and all the other stalwart saints, bow the head in recognition at The Throne and thrones. They and the Apostles themselves, and Paul, recognize their Lord and God in the middle and those that flank Him on both sides.  The trifecta at Calvary (Jesus and the two thieves) with Christ all-important: once and forever atoning and rescuing you by His “blood and merit” is joyfully transformed in Heaven’s throne room to a typological triptych of end-time worship. The Lamb in the middle at the “right hand of majesty” flanked by the Blessed Theotokos and The Baptizer.

   For as the Godhead is Trinity in Unity—a communion of love, so too the worshipping Church, the Bride, shares in community of The Body…The Object of Worship—the ever incarnate God/Man, the worshippers—Virgin Mother and Kinsman (a picture of you iconned), and the peace and love flowing from The Giver to the given. 

   Today is Gaudete, the Third Sunday of Advent. The rose candle lit to symbolize that even in this season of repentance you join with Paul, Mary and John in singing your Introit “Rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, rejoice!” [Php. 4. 4]

   To rejoice by oneself without being embraced by family is sectarian, dangerous, and bordering on heresy. There are no lone followers; there is only family, body, branches, sheepfold, and bride, of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.  Mary and John point to this because they point to Him! “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” “He must increase, but I must decrease,” “whatsoever He saith to you, do it.” [Jn. 1. 29, 2. 5b, 3.30]

   Your song was her song, the Magnificat and the historical Christ carol which are so fitting for this day: “Gaudete, gaudete! Christus est natus ex Maria virgine, gaudete!” [Rejoice, rejoice! Christ is born, (out) of the Virgin Mary, rejoice!”]

   And then there’s John.

   “…John had heard in the prison the works of Christ.” Excellent. His strong adamant faith increases during his trials, for “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” [Rom. 10. 17]  His ears were graced with the events his God Kinsman had been doing. His faith was first created by both the Word enfleshed—carried in Mary’s womb, and by her evangel greeting—Magnificat!  His faith was so strong that his father, Zacharias, at his own birth could sing “And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest; for thou shalt go before the face of The Lord to prepare His ways’…and the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit…” [Luke 1. 76, 80]  Before that day at Jordan The Word spoke to John “the Word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.” [Lk. 3. 2b]

   Like you the Baptizer was a sinner. John needed and received the same Shepherd Savior as you all have. But, John did not lose his faith, and the events which Saint Matthew records are not part of a crisis of faith but simply a sermon preached by a pastor to his remaining tiny flock.  John had the Spirit prepare him all his life. Jesus said “among those that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist” [Mt. 11. 11a]

   We need not pull John down and sinfully delight that he too cracked under pressure, crumbled under brutal imprisonment, and thought that Jesus had abandoned him to Herod’s axe-man; NO!  What did you come to Augsburg to see, a booming, powerful, successful, modern American congregation? Behold, that abomination is found in theaters, stadiums, and corporate board rooms.  Does “old Adam” secretly hope John was a shaken reed?  John is a not a reed, and neither are you, he was a branch grafted by Blood into The Vine of Victory. 

   There is not one Biblical scholar, reformer, Patristic source, or exegete…before the age of higher criticism and rationalism…who ever said John had lost his faith and needed his two disciples to bring him back something…to bring him Jesus.

   John was preaching one of his short sermons to the two themselves who needed it.  They were doubting; they were weak; they wouldn’t leave their infatuation with John to put their faith in the Source of John.

   The God/Man called him and make him His messenger; he was. His preaching was that of Elias “repent and believe;” “bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance;” [Lk 3.8] “he that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none;” [11] and “do violence to no man, neither accuse anyone falsely.” [14]   John preached unvarnished straight 180 proof Law so that people could receive pure Gospel—forgiveness, life and salvation.

   “You two hangers-on, what you doing here…this jail-tomb will soon be empty, and I will not be here. My headless corpse will be with Him in paradise and He shall be my new and everlasting Head and Groom even as He is to be yours.  There can be no personality cults to once powerful and influential desert preachers; there is only The Kingdom of Heaven which is found only in the Body and Blood of the Nazarene Messias! Leave me and go see His signs and wonders which confirm His Words from High.  He restores sight, He heals cripples, He cleans diseased, He raises up dead, and He is the Good News which you need.”

   And blessed are you who are not offended by the scandal of the Cross, by the humility of the Holy + Washing of regeneration, and by the mystery of the Sacrament of Body and Blood given, shed, eaten and drunk.

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

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Adventide Midweek Thursday #2 [2014]: HOMILY

Christ’s Kingdom of Glory
Adventide Midweek 2: 11 December Anno + Domini 2014
Fr Jay Watson SSP

In The Name + of The King, Christ Jesus

   Myths about heaven run from childishly inane to damnably false. But heaven, even now, exists in the ever presence of the Lord.  To speculate about the details is wasteful of time and unanswerable by way of human reason.

   Only Scripture reveals what the hereafter is all about.  Scripture is God’s Body and Blood in paper and ink.  Christ the King is one with His word—He being The Word made Flesh.  The joys of this December’s Advent will be crowned with the Celebration of the Lord’s Nativity. The supernal joys and crescendos of the Final Advent are always preceded by the Law.  The coming Kingdom of Glory includes the judgment of the unrighteous.

   “There is none righteous no not one.” [Rom. 3.10] Only God is right. Fallen man is wrong.  Sinners are not “right in the spiritual head” or heart; are not “right” with themselves or their neighbors and are not “right” with the Lord.  And they sin all the time. You sin all the time.  Only God is righteous. Only the God/Man Jesus, Immanuel, is Righteous. 

   Jesus’ words about the great judgment and the coming of His Kingdom of Glory, are true and are to be heeded by Christians.  A sloppy and lazy Lutheran ethos has infested most of American and worldwide Lutheranism in the last 100 years or so.  Yes we are antinomians by nature—we don’t like the Law—the Law kills. But we are also against the idea that Jesus asks, expects, and tells us to sanctify our lives—our minds and bodies—that is, in our thoughts, words, and deeds.  This is not salvation and it is not for salvation. Jesus kept the Commandments and did all The Sanctifying, the making holy, in His Body and Blood suffering and death at the cross.  Jesus gives The perfect Sanctifying, the making of a Holy child and heir, a Saint, by washing you + in Him at the font.  Jesus does all the work of The Sanctifying you as a Royal Priest by filling your ears with Himself; with placing on your tongues in the Eucharist Himself!

    But the last century notwithstanding, every Lutheran theologian from Pieper and Walther back to Calov, Hunnius, Gerhard, Andreae, Chemnitz, Melanchthon, and Luther wrote about, assumed, and instructed their charges to lead holy lives and to work at sanctification…sanctification in the narrow sense of repentance and striving.  These Lutheran “fathers” so catechized, preached, and lived this way because that’s the way EVERY orthodox Christian churchman, theologian, and Father had taught for the prior 1,600 years.  It’s the way the Apostle taught. It’s the way all the Old Testament Prophets and Moses taught.  It’s what Jesus says.

   Lest we overdose on “cheap grace” and a self-indulgent, indifferent, and WRONG understanding of Justification, we are instructed by the Holy Ghost and Saint Paul.  If there’s anyone in the history of Christ’s people who believed and grasped being saved by Grace alone and not of the works of the Law it was Paul.  Paul knew why Jesus had found him, spared him, rescued him, redeemed him, justified him, and sanctified him…Grace pure Grace!  Pure love, mercy, and JESUS!  Paul was writing to fellow Christians in Corinth and elsewhere…in Kansas and Missouri.  Paul knew the hard-wired default position of all men, even sinner/saint Christians.  Paul writes: “know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things…I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: but I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” [1 Cor 9. 24-27]   If the Apostle knew he should, he must (not for Salvation, but because it’s what the Lord willed for him) run, strive for mastery, be temperate in all things, and keep his body of sin under subjection, how can your “new creation” [2 Cor. 5.17] wish to do anything less?  Paul exhorts you fellow Corinthians “wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me,” [1 Cor. 4.16]   and you fellow Philippians “brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.”[Ph. 3.17]

   In Christ and by Christ you have your lamps filled to meet the arriving Groom, but you nonetheless need to daily “trim them.”  You have faith to receive your coming Advent King for He brings the Kingdom of Glory—the heavenly realms of salvific splendor.  Jesus says: “…many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of heaven.” [Mt. 8.11]  At the final judgment, the culling of the goats from you the true sheep, there will be no fear or apprehension. You will joyfully meet Him in the air at the final trump…triumphant.  But you’re here and now.  The first Advent, these last days, the final time of the Church, continues, and your Advent journey to the New Jerusalem and the ever Bethlehem marches on through desert, cross, and pain.  Take heed, pay attention, be on the alert. “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called…that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.” [Eph. 4. 1ff]    Luther also exhorts you to daily drown the old Adam.

   These words of Paul, Martin, and Jesus, your Lord and God, are not meant to break delicate flowers or crush overburdened backs.  His Kingdom of Glory includes you because He has chosen you “I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands,” [Is 49.16] and “they [you] shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them [you] out of My hand,” [Jn.10.28] and “I kept them in Thy Name; those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost.” [Jn. 17.12]

   You don’t have to flap your arms to get to heaven. The angels will carry you as they carried poor Lazarus. You won’t tremble when you’re ushered into the Nuptial Hall of Heaven, then, but now, it’s only Holy Spirit prudent to “take heed, lest [you] fall” [1 Cor. 10.12]. 

   You’re on the ship; you’re safe in His arms.  But the embrace becomes consummated the way it’s destined at the final return of Christ.  The ships great banquet is yet to be served.  You have the foretaste in your daily, weekly, rations of Righteousness, and, you have duties aboard the ship; tasks, sanctifying disciplines.  Chafe not at this momentary chastening, these Christian chores, for they conform your body into His cruciform. He carries the yoke. He bears the burden.  He “comes to judge the nations, a terror to His foes, A Light of consolations and blessed Hope to those Who love the Lord’s appearing. O glorious Sun, now come, send forth Thy beams most cheering, and guide us safely home to the Kingdom of Glory.”

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