Monday, August 24, 2009

News from ELCA

Thought I'd pass along some sad news from the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). They have decided to chuck the Biblical directive (regarding homosexuality) in favor of a more politically correct position. Read more.

The ELCA leaders should know that they haven't convinced God. "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God" (I Corinthians 6:9-11).

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pange Lingua

Sing, my tongue, the Savior's glory,
of His flesh the mystery sing;
of the Blood, all price exceeding,
shed by our immortal King,
destined, for the world's redemption,
from a noble womb to spring.

Of a pure and spotless Virgin
born for us on earth below,
He, as Man, with man conversing,
stayed, the seeds of truth to sow;
then He closed in solemn order
wondrously His life of woe.

On the night of that Last Supper,
seated with His chosen band,
He the Pascal victim eating,
first fulfills the Law's command;
then as Food to His Apostles
gives Himself with His own hand.

To the everlasting Father,
and the Son who reigns on high,
with the Holy Ghost proceeding
forth from Each eternally,
be salvation, honor, blessing,
might and endless majesty.
Amen. Alleluia.

--St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) for the Feast of Corpus Christi (now called the Solemnity of the Holy Body and Blood of Christ).

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Churchly Spires

I'm reposting a piece I wrote shortly after my move to Milwaukee, so impressed was I with the many beckoning spires on the south side.


My eye caught the spark of beauty leaping from the horizon of downtown Milwaukee, a gladdening distraction from the torn-up roads in the construction zone. Polished, churchly spires gleamed against their gray and ghetto-like surroundings, testifying to a time when people did not settle for “whatever works,” but invested those solid piles of masonry with consideration for God’s glory and for posterity. Truly, a wise man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children.

Today, most congregations question the wisdom of building something so permanent when a cheap wooden building would do, but Milwaukee’s first settlers took the trouble to build not for their time but for the future. We see in abundance the structures built by pragmatism. Our society “lives for the moment,” and it produces art and architecture that will soon be cast away and forgotten. We mourn the lost aesthetic of beauty and extravagance, of high art poured out to the glory of God.

The soaring spires on Milwaukee’s skyline, as long as they stand, will never cease to signify the glory that is above and within them, and I believe their aesthetic will be reborn in my time. The consuming beauty of holiness is a call to worship, and we answer with our art.

“Lord, I have loved the habitation of Thine House, and the place where Thine honor dwelleth.”