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Tuesday, December 30, 2008 

Today’s Quote Of The Day

I actually found today’s quote of the day yesterday over at Father Hollywood’s blog but I didn’t have time to post it because of my traveling back to the Haut South. The quote of the day comes from the Rev. Aaron Koch's blog, "The Staff of Aaron", in his post Living Nativity:

"I recall even one Lutheran pastor who would kneel before a plastic Jesus as part of a school Christmas program, but who thought it wrong to genuflect at the altar during the consecration!"

Oh, heck yeah!

I can not begin to recount how many of my evangelical friends question whether my faith is genuine based on the fact that I cross myself before prayer or bow my head whenever the Gloria Patri is sung during the Divine Service.

For my newer readers, the Gloria Patri is a short doxological hymn of praise to God that is sung during various points of our worship service;

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. Amen.

Thank you Pastor Beane for bringing Pr. Koch's fine quote to our attention, it kept me going all the way home yesterday.


No problem, Frank. The real thanks are due to Pr. Koch, of course.

I'm reminded of the analogous situation of pastors who will elevate the collection plates at the altar, but would find elevating the True Body and Blood of our Lord to be inappropriate.

Similarly, it's okay for a QB to "take a knee" at the end of the game, but in some circles, if the pastor actually does what the Bible says (Phil 2:10) at the altar in the presence of our Blessed Lord, he might get in trouble (which has never been any kind of a problem or issue in my own congregation, Deo gratias!).

Pr. Beane, I don’t type and sometimes what I mean to say isn’t what I wind up typing. I did mean to give credit to Pr. Koch and updated the last line to reflect that. I corrected my misspelling of your name as well, sorry!

I'm the resident non-Lutheran here (and also over at The Elephant's Child) and I'm just amazed at the fact that you have to jump through such hoops when all you want to do is worship our Lord and Saviour. I'm not saying that to be critical. Honestly, it's too bad that people automatically associate hand gestures with a denomination. The cross is the cross and it's always appropriate for believers to remind themselves of what it means.

BD, We don’t have to jump through any hoops at all to worship. Just because we have certain rituals, like bowing in prayer or before an altar doesn’t make them bad and something to be avoided. We bow out of reverence not because we HAVE to. We certainly don’t want to burden the consciences of the faithful with rituals not specifically prescribed for in Scripture. What we do within the Divine Service is meant for order and to point to Christ whether it be a procession, a bow before an altar, or the crossing of oneself during the chanting of the Gloria Patri like I happen to do.
What I found amusing (I probably didn’t explain this well enough…) was the false dichotomy set up by those who think all ritual is bad but still have their own rituals like bowing before plastic Jesus but not before what we believe and confess IS the Body and Blood of Christ in, with, and under the bread and wine.
We all have rituals in our churches whether we admit it or not. I’ve got friends that swear I’m going to hell because I follow an order of service the look too Roman Catholic. But if you press these friends on what they do week after week they do indeed have their own rituals as well. As long as it’s not mine I guess…

BD, one more tidbit… when we Lutherans cross ourselves we also remember we are buried with Christ by Baptism into death as Saint Paul says in Romans 6. Baptism, cross, death and new life in Jesus…good stuff that crossing!

I did a bad job with my comment, Frank. I wasn't accusing you of jumping through hoops when worshiping. I just meant that it's too bad that someone makes an assumption about what you're doing (or thinking) based on some hand gesture. I really did pick the wrong expression. Sorry.

I was on your side.

When in Rome....no, wait...I did it again. :)

I did a bad job with my comment, Rog. I wasn't accusing you of making assumptions about my worshiping (heh). I was venting my frustrations concerning friends that say what I do is wrong and that I can’t have a “real” faith because I’m worshipping liturgically. I have tried to explain that it our faith, by grace, in Christ that God accounts as righteous and not anything that we do. All these friends focus on is the how and the what I do (and not the why), the very thing that they accuse me of doing. It’s maddening.

“When in Rome....no, wait...I did it again” lol!

You wanna really go for it? Give 'em your date of baptism (which Luther once wrote we should know as well as our date of birth) when they ask if you have been born again!

Do you remember FH's post a while back about rolling into the ice cream parlour in a cassock with wife and kid in tow?

Man, not that I like stirring things up or anything, but if I were younger I'd go to sem just to pull something like that off, wait for the double-take from someone, and say "Relax, we're Lutherans -- you know, the REAL catholics".

Happy New Year, Frank!

"Man, not that I like stirring things up or anything" Oh yeah you do!

"Do you remember FH's post a while back about rolling into the ice cream parlour in a cassock with wife and kid in tow?" I would've said to everybody that asked; Hey quit staring, at least she's a nun!

oh, Happy New Year to you as well PE!

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  • I'm Frank Gillespie
  • From The Haut South
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