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Who Doesn't Want an Electric Hummer?
Anno Domini 2020, The pagan moontide of Janus 27
Epiphania Lux Mundi 4:
The Unexpected Source

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Electric Cars and other Innovations

Lux 4: The Unexpected Source

Alleluia! The bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. Alleluia!

He did miracles in the sight of their ancestors:  He divided the sea and led them through.

He guided them with the cloud by day, and with light from the fire all night.

He struck the rock, and water gushed out, streams flowed abundantly.

(from Psalm 78)

The third Sunday after Epiphany or Epiphany 4 in the Old Testament series, takes us one step closer to the high point of the Season of Light, the Transfiguration. On that pinnacle, Christ, the light of the world, shining into the midst of our darkness will reveal himself to the nations as the true God, who is man on our behalf. 

Remember that in both the historic one-year lectionary, and in Exile and Return: A Year in the Old Testament, Transfiguration comes earlier than in the three-year, leaving more ordinary time between that mountaintop experience and the somber days of Lent.

Exile and Return emphasizes this shift in order to draw a contrast with the acceptance of Jesus as a prophet and miracle worker, and the manic rejection of Jesus as the unexpected (i.e. “wrong kind” of) Messiah. The darkness of Tenebrae is about more than mere created light. It is about the darkened understanding of our fallen minds.

Thus, our preparation for the Day of Ashes (Ash Wednesday) will involve a gradual descent from the glorious mountain into a full experience of the valley of the shadow of death.

But for one more interim week, the unification of light with water/bread/God’s-Presence continues. Following their washing in the Red Sea, and following the gift of food directly out of heaven, the people of Israel still complain. The Lord has not done enough. They need something more than water which kills. They need water that gives life.

Better yet, they need miraculous water flowing from the riven side of the Rock whom God appointed. It would seem that the Stone which the builders rejected, the cornerstone, is more than a metaphor. He is the Lamb who is the Son of God, the Son of God who is a true man, the historic man who is sacrificed once and for all, the sacrifice in whom we participate when we eat and drink the real food and real drink that he left with us to be our lamp shining in this dark place.

Let us pray: Jesus, as Moses struck the rock and you gave the water of life to your people, so also when the soldiers pierced your side, you gave forth water and blood for the life of the whole world. Teach us now to receive the testimony of your Spirit according to these gifts, for he proceeds from you even as you live and reign with the Father, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Who Doesn't Want an Electric Hummer?


Considering the immense popularity of the Jeep Wrangler with its unique boxy, off-road look, I’ve always been surprised that the Hummer did so poorly in the American market, eventually ceasing production in 2010. It seems strange that no other auto makers have stepped up to take a bite out of the geometric design pie. Even so, I’m super tickled that there are plans afoot to release a fully electric Hummer. It could be a complete disaster but it could be the most awesome up-to-date, utility vehicle on the road.


In the meantime, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), a major tech innovation showcase held in Vegas every year [think: crazy offerings like "smart socks”], several companies have released their plans for flying cars. Knowing that the population of the United States is full of responsible, careful and thoughtful drivers, I'm sure that adding elevation into the equation could never end with, say, cars plummeting onto someone’s house. 

Making things even more scary is the limited amount of regulation, such as lack of driver certification and air traffic control rules. But that won’t stop it from coming, so you might as well pick up your flight helmet and aviator shades sooner rather than later (rebel insignia optional).

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Speaking of Trouble with Things that Fly

I don’t doubt that you’ve heard about the 737 that was shot down in Iran earlier this month. The noise made by both the Iranian government and the US, has people all over the world yapping “fake news”, warmongering and virtue-signaling about everything from the poor Ayatollah to the incompetence of the Orange Man.

Perhaps lost in the shuffle is how many other 737's have had trouble in recent years, leading to Boeing shuttering the project temporarily due to concerns of quality control in the recently-designed aircraft. Wouldn’t you know, stories about the international conflict have obscured the news of former Boeing employees, spilling the beans about the sketchy engineering and safety oversight that have resulted in so many deaths. (Of course, cars cause many more deaths).

My city of Rockford is home to several aerospace companies that hold major contracts with Boeing, producing elements for the 737. A hidden consequence of production being suspended for now, will be its impact on the local Rockford economy.

Speaking of Stuff Pulled Out of the (Wet) Air

As much as we want to avoid most things falling out of the sky, it would seem that the possibility of pulling a little water out might suit anyone living in a climate where digging wells is not an option. We are one step closer to moisture-farming on Tatooine with the "hydropanel" developed by Zero Mass Water. 

I love the way that modern technology continues to innovate, making science fiction into a reality. What I wonder and truly am concerned about is the unintended consequences of even such “green” technologies. Sure, I'm in a desert and it’s great to pull water out of the air, but what happens when a thousand of my neighbors want to as well? How does this impact wildlife, ecology and the sustainability of our human existence?

All the same, I can see how this tech can have many viable uses (such as perhaps pulling water out of the air during summer in St Louis).

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But You Could Just Make a Bank at the Border Instead (Yo Quiero!)

But why be innovative and risk losing your shirt or bankrupting investors? If you really want to make $100k a year, you can sign up to be a manager at Taco Bell. Yes, really. Taco Bell. The pseudo Mexican processed junk food mega-chain might not be the best place to lose weight or finally kick your addiction to carbs, but if you can manage your way out of a paper bag, you could do a lot worse than join their pilot program to entice quality workers into their organization. 

Why go to college, just to end up with an art history degree and big debt? You could go straight to work slinging Yo Quieros, invest your income in index funds ASAP and retire at 40, a multi millionaire, ready to run from the border rather than to it.

Or Lose Money on a Great Mattress

From making money to losing money, Caspers is an innovative mattress company that has failed to post a profit in several years of market development. I own a Casper’s mattress and love it very much. I ordered it online, it showed up in a cardboard box, which I can pack it back into if I want to and it always adjusts to my body exactly as needed, quickly and without too much heat. 

But that’s apparently not enough to turn the profit that the company would like to show its investors. My suggestion? If you don’t own a Casper, buy one now before they’re gone. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better quality purchase for bed time comfort.

And the Legislated Destruction of a Free Economy Continues

Last week, I mentioned the challenges of copyright and trademarks in an Internet age. Law-making in general continues to face challenges, created by the flattened-earth economy of the World Wide Web. While multiple court battles are currently being waged between large tech companies for the right to own code, new laws in California intended to protect Uber drivers have created headaches all around. Industries completely unrelated to ridesharing, such as counselors, can no longer use contract workers or other short term project based employees. 

Whenever you make a law, you can be guaranteed it reaches farther than you think it does. That is one of the best arguments, in my mind, for having fewer laws and focusing our efforts instead on making virtuous people.

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On Christian Piety

I don’t advocate the reckless, nonsensical flinging of F-bombs in every corner of your life. But, I do believe that the distinction between the F-bomb and the Ph-bomb (phooey!) is arbitrary, man-made (mostly by accident), and ultimately bears no relationship to our actual righteousness as Christians. 

I also wonder about the power of strong language. Some very wise individuals advocate its use in certain circumstances as a tool for breaking down boundaries, pausing conversation and causing others to think twice about the gravity of what has been said. The alternative is the current state of affairs where young Christians are more afraid of saying “crap” (a word that originally meant “chaff”) than they are of missing church, going to a secular college or marrying an unbeliever. Even worse, our own biblical words of gravity are being stripped from us.

I recently had a beloved member of my congregation call me out for my one-time use of the phrase “Why in hell….?” from the pulpit. We had a lovely conversation about it, and I love it when my members keep me in check by sharing their thoughts with me. 

But what struck me most, what I said to her as my justification and what still occupies my mind is that I used the phrase intentionally, with Biblical context in mind, and in order to give direct voice to the full expression of its biblical meaning. I claimed that, without a clear proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, “Why in hell would anyone want to come to our to church?” 

I really meant it. Every word. Yet the G-rated confusion of cursing with potty language prevents not only me, but all Christians from giving voice to this truly necessary truth.

Making up cuss words in a fiction novel won’t achieve this on its own. But refusing to acknowledge the growth of “strong language” as a key element of the American dialect is a result I don’t desire to be subject to needlessly.

More next time...

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