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Issue 015

Pagan Moontide of Aphrodite 13, Anno Domini 2020

Easter Sunday: Holy Tuesday, Batman!

What happened?

"My heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices, for you will not abandon my soul to Sheol." Psalm  16

Nothing. 

Well, not quite. Things mostly went on “as they have from the beginning.” 

This is the thing about the crises of yesteryear: they always feel smaller than the crises of today.

The fire that’s burning right now is the one you keep your eye on. You forget about the perils of the fires from “the past,” and focus on the perils of the present - but not really. You focus on how the future could be worse than the present, and then you bend all of your efforts into making the future-feared crises of tomorrow smaller than the ones of today. 

But the thing is: the crises always feel the same damned size when you’re in the middle of them. 

(And, no, God bless you, I am not cursing when I use the d-word according to it’s actual biblical meaning in perfunctory grammatical context!) All of our “damned problems” are, (indeed!) damned problems. 

And that is our problem.

Corona-fallout, on every level, is only the most recent exhibition of the curse which our risen and ascended God revealed that he himself had placed on us long ago. It’s no different than it was before the flood, or when Israel was in Egypt-land, or in the trenches of the first Great War. 

  1. COVID is but one of the many ways God may fulfill his Genesis 3 promise to kill you. But make no mistake: he will kill you .
  2. Nothing is working the way it is supposed to, from the unsafe "we-called-it-slavery-in-the-south” conditions in ("go figure") communist China’s imploding manufacturer’s paradise, to the collapsing Boeing food chain that has at last managed to bring it’s decimation to 400 households of my local Rockford as their 2019 Enron-esque results have left them organizationally ill-prepared for a downturn in the air traffic market.  
  3. The Genesis 3 Battle of the Sexes may not be as front and center as Elizabeth Warren will say it is the next time you hear her Hillary impersonation. But we all know that Biden holds the ticket because, for all of his being old, white, male and filthy-lucre rich by any normal standard, “he will rule over you” still has some zing, even when it means dire incompetence. Meanwhile, and unquestionably, families are having to reassess what it means to live together for more than four hours a day, which, more than anything else, then means learning how to not hate each other. Such malicious lives, contrary to the glossy catalogues and shared love of Wheel of Fortune, are far more common than you might think, and all such trials are surely at full amplitude for many. 
  4. The Fourth Command authority structures of the world, from greatest to least, are all being pushed, prodded, shifted, adjusted and everything else under the sun, with the one exception of contracted. “He does not share power,” as the good book says. (Well, The Fellowship of the Ring says it, but the Bible does teach it too.)
  5. The Fifth Command bodily needs of ourselves and neighbors are why we’re all doing any of this. How’s your sleep? Heart issues and diabetes are the real threats in your life right now, to say nothing of your children and the stranglehold on their tastebuds held by the Seventh Day Adventists vegetarianism cult, (who have played a long game gaining uber-woowoo control over the world market of nutritional information.)  
  6. The Sixth Commandment of Marriage's utter freefall into an “open-borders” policy on all fronts (let the reader understand) has at least found its bravado walled off by a virus that isn’t afraid to let you see what a damned planet can do to you when you start believing that you can change its substance by pouting. In fact, I say this whole ordeal is the merciful curb of the law at work, reality itself rising up to tell us in no uncertain terms that we cannot make it go away no matter how hard we “identify” it as something else. Six feet is six feet, and the same law which teaches us "weights and measures" is the one which establishes proper societal boundaries between human bodies. We need this kind of seeing clearly, and I am grateful for any ounce of it I can get. 
  7. The Seventh Command’s blessing of personal property is certainly under assault. No white collar thief is going to let a juicy crisis like this go to waste. I mean, it’s a buyer’s market on Wall St. and Bitcoin is at the best prices you will see for your investment potentially ever. But I’m also pretty certain that the way the rich got richer in 2008 is not making them poorer this “economical” decade. 
  8. The Eighth Command’s ORANGE MAN!!! ORANGE MAN!!!
  9. Meanwhile, as great as my emails are, I’d bet you’d rather be somewhere else right now. Right?
  10. Did you miss that last one because I didn’t point it out? It’s the oldest trick in the Lutheran playbook: “Hey kids, let me show you how you break all the commandments especially the last one.” (I once wrote a book on the sentence in an effort to spice things up a bit…but the point is that...) Every single one of our problems is not only the definition of a "damned problem.” That itself is the Gospel-Truth, God-honest, God-damned problem with everything.

Except the resurrected body of Jesus. 

The current birth pain often feels like the worst it can possibly be. 

Until the next one. 

My fear of the “holy Tuesday terror,” (perhaps sanctuTýrdayphobia for short) is not gone yet. But it is not because I believe that either sun or moon, much less the “tik-tok” of Weylan’s forge, hold much power. It is because we are ever-ascribing them the power of our fears, rather than just insisting back into the white noise that, “No, this is just more of everything going on as it has from the beginning."

But I tell you this: it will not go on like this forever. One of us has already come back from the dead, and that makes it time to ask yourself the ancient and holy question of questions: Blue pill, or red one, Huckleberry?

Be strong. And let your heart know courage.

The silly answers are The Matrix and Tombstone in glorious Easter egg fusion.

The real answer is another movie quote that the Bible also teaches:

"The only winning move is not to play.

So while everyone else is in an anxiety-panicked-mania about how best to wallow in the muck this Easter 2020, I’ll leave you to consider that maybe what your Christianity really needs most is a nice game of chess.

Wait for the Lord,
Rev. Fisk

Quick Hits for the Eyebuds

Slightly pared back, less viral edition of 

Clickbait Paradise

Bacon, cabbage and squash, oh my!

Like many Western countries, America wastes a lot of food, up to 40% per year. The COVID-19 crisis has complicated matters, with many consumers' erratic buying habits confusing supply chains and inflating the demand for some items. Things seem to have settled down on the grocery store front, as people have realized they can trust the system to remain steady. 

Primary producers, on the other hand, have been hit hard. While one side of their business is to supply fresh food to supermarkets, American consumers actually spend more money eating out than at home, meaning restaurants and caterers make up a larger proportion of a farmer's income. As shelter-in-place orders rolled out across the country, restaurant demand dried up almost overnight, leaving many producers with a glut of perishable crops and no-one to buy them.

Food bank charities have stockpiled as they can and some restaurants have been able to give away or sell their remaining produce, with food rescue groups putting together meal boxes for emergency and medical staff. But it isn’t easy to adjust output in such a short time when you’re growing things, so while some farmers are able to mulch their surplus crops, many are left with no option but to dump their stock.

While the situation we find ourselves in globally is quite extraordinary, as Mad Christians, we can carry out our First Article "duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him”, asking God for wisdom to steward his creation thoughtfully.

Speaking of food, Pastor Hans Fiene laments the loss of some of his favorite eateries and Joy Pullman expressed frustration that while we can still access perishable food, with Divine services banned, sharing the bread of life is not an option:

"They consider mortal food important enough to allow full access to unlimited people, but immortal food a mere frippery of which the people can be starved. It’s not just public officials, either — it’s plenty of so-called religious leaders, who are no spiritual shepherds at all if they so lightly deny their sheep their most desperately needed sustenance, especially in a time of great national and global need. Feed my sheep, indeed."

Well, I’m glad you asked

While the endless coverage of the pandemic in some ways has settled into a kind of white noise, it would seem, Rev. Fisk’s fears for a horrible Holy Tuesday globally have, not been realized. (He did point out, however, that the US clocked up it's worse tally for COVID deaths in a single day).

Although the planet is in a whole different sort of chaos, looking back to Holy Week last year, our world is currently a little less eventful. One year on from the devastating fire, a Good Friday service was held in Notre Dame cathedral, even though lockdown meant there were only seven attendees, all in masks and hazmat suits.

Boeing 787 powers up (and down), and narco subs charge on

It has been revealed that 787’s need to be switched off and back on again every 51 days to prevent ’stale’ data being sent to pilots. Yet, still probably a safer way to travel than by a homemade Columbian submarine, filled with narcotics - it’s your call, after all!

We can’t entirely avoid the subject of Coronavirus (although we tried) but here are a few stories from pandemic land..

Nothing to fear except fear itself

While Julius Caesar may have been "done in" by the ides of March, according to the famous opening line from T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland, “April is the cruelest month”. Although recent weeks have been social-distance-level quiet, a funny web post from 2012 lays out all the reasons why April is not to be trusted.

On a historical note, one president who weathered quite a few Marches and Aprils, was F. D. Roosevelt who was in office from the tail end of the Great Depression through WWII. FDR took to radio broadcasts, calming the nation with his fireside chats, when the stock market was nosediving, unemployment was high and the world went to war. 

No cigar

A certain cigar-loving pastor we know (*wink wink) shared this article with us. By executive order, the legal age for tobacco use was unified across the US, to 21 years old. Most cigar shops aren’t particularly worried that young people will be prevented from smoking cigars, as theirs is generally a more - how shall we put it? - mature clientele, but it has been pointed out that while our young people can fight for their country, they can’t smoke a cigar.

There is also protest that cigar boxes which are often collected for their design, will be mostly covered with large warning labels.

C’mon baby, do the iso-lation..

It would be obvious to most people that screen time, particularly for kids, has increased during this time of isolation, but it "can actually be a reflection of healthy engagement too”, which might be most needed for teens, who are finding it especially difficult.

And finally...

A Rev. Fisk Easter egg: let the reader understand...

Only Illuminati Need Apply
Your Reaction Highlights

MM reader CV sent us this link. The site details how a group of experts ran a simulation of how the globe would be affected in the case of a pandemic. It is interesting, even if they've had to walk back their estimates for casualties:

centerforhealthsecurity.org/event201/about

centerforhealthsecurity.org/event201/scenario

centerforhealthsecurity.org/newsroom/center-news/2020-01-24-Statement-of-Clarification-Event201

Watch some clips of some of their videos and try to keep a straight face.

from
CV


Promo of Friends

Check out Villiage Lutheran for livestreamed services.  Never before has there been such an opportunity to "visit" so many churches!  Despite Satan's use of the Coronavirus to keep us out of the church buildings, the Word of God continues to be preached.

Don't forget to continue giving to your church- your pastor is worth his wages.

Sweetness You May Have Missed...
YouTube Feature

A guided tour through the events of Holy Week

Recent Release

The Glowing Screen of Death


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David & Goliath by Richey Beckett

Let us pray: Mighty Jesus, commander of the army of the Lord, Valiant Jesus, from whom the tempter flees, demolish the strongholds of our flesh, and captivate our thoughts, that carnal arrogances never rise up against the true knowledge of God, even as you reign in scars of glory at the Maker’s right hand, by your Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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