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Anno Domini 2020, The pagan moontide of Februa 3

This Week in Madness...

  • 15 Days until Without Flesh Release
  • Curses and Cussing, Part 3
  • Today's Dystopia
Epiphania Lux Mundi 5:
Holiness Proximates

Alleluia! Jesus said, "I am the Light of the World." Alleluia!

Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides on the clouds.

Your procession is seen, O God, the procession of the King into the sanctuary.

O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God, to him who rides in the ancient heavens;
behold, he sends out his mighty voice.

From Psalm 68

The day of Transfiguration is the day we remember that "God in flesh made manifest" is still God. From the beginning, Jesus has been able to do more with his human body than we consider reasonable or could imagine. Exile and Return highlights this in a bit of an unorthodox way. Rather than go up the mountain with Matthew, Mark and Luke, to see the cloud descend and hear glorious words spoken from heaven, we find Jesus in Jerusalem at the peak of one of the highest feast days of the year in Israel.

During the Feast of Tabernacles, a celebration of water and light, Jesus shone in the darkness by fearlessly proclaiming that he, in his flesh, is the light of the world. This unexpected mountaintop experience is paired with perhaps the most famous event in the Old Testament: the day God spoke on a mountain, from within a cloud, in order to give us the Ten Commandments.

These holy words, while surely a revelation of the perfect Law, also demonstrate God’s willingness to speak truth to his people, regardless of how well we might be listening. This is the same giving of light and life which always flows from his mouth, and the reason that, of all the lessons of the Transfiguration, the most important always remains: whenever Jesus speaks, “Listen to him”…

Especially as we descend into the growing darkness of pre-Lent, Jesus’ own lonely path through the havoc of our dust and ashes to their solution: His cross.

Let us pray: Jesus, Light of the World, who is from above and not of this world, whose face shines with the glory of the Word of God, teach us to love your commands, for they are the path of wisdom, but teach us to love your promises even more, for they are the light of life, even that light in which you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen

Plagues, Conspiracies, and Google

Speaking of Dystopian Nightmares...

While enjoying a beer with a couple of other pastors, our discussion turned to the importance of recognizing that the world we live in won't be the same in half a century. Civilizations have always risen and fallen, but none last forever. It doesn't take much effort to imagine an event, such as a virus outbreak, that wipes out enough of the work force to place food supply chains in jeopardy and results in an apocalyptic-style free for all. I am not a prophet, nor the son of a prophet, but the next day, I read about coronavirus…. Yikes!

But don’t believe every prediction you hear. Apparently its become popular to make worldwide forecasts of destruction mis-using a video game engine.

But Which is the Greater Plague?

In preparing for a talk I gave a week ago, I had to dig through the history of marriage and also birth control, particularly in the LCMS. Of the many noteworthy facts I discovered, I was fascinated to learn that "No fault divorce", which grants divorce for any reason, only became legal in 1969! Until then it had been easier to murder your spouse than divorce them, even for Henry VIII. I'm not advocating a return to such restrictions, but there's something significant about the fact that marriage had been held as a life-long commitment until so recently.

Legalized birth control is also a very recent development, but the growing use of copper IUD as emergency contraception represents a whole new snare for Christians. Intra Uterine Devices are a form of early term abortion and are not an option for anyone who professes faith in Christ. The majority of birth control methods are abortifacient and we need to be aware of the dangers to us and to our babies.

Then, there were French Lesbians vs Mohammad

In the meantime, a 16-year-old girl in France, has come under fire for posting an Instagram video. Speaking about Islam in less-than-friendly terms, she was hit with death threats and had people stalking her at school. While she is vulgar and a lesbian, the progressive left should heed the wake-up call, that remaining in denial about the "religion of peace" only paves the way for militant Islam.

So which Religions should be Illegal?

The fight for the distinction between freedom of religion and freedom from religion continues in a major SCOTUS case.

Is it All a Conspiracy? No! But Lightbulb Life Is...

You may think planned obsolescence is a modern phenomenon, but the concept started way before Apple's battery issues. In the 1920's, a short-lived international cartel, took control of the manufacturing and standardization of light bulbs, the legacy of which has been the insidious discontent we often see today, a response to the constant turnover of new products. It may be hard to believe, but a light bulb hanging in Livermore Fire Station, California, has been burning bright for 118 years. This podcast discusses the problem with the planned failure of technology against the difficulty of shaking the "latest is greatest" attitude.

Sweetness you may have missed...
This Week Preached


Recent Release

Where do we know God?

Podcast 0142

A Last Stand for the First Things


Your Inner Judiazer is Anathema

Good Google

Google has released an envelope that turns your smart phone into a dumb phone. I think it's a great idea and really want one, but the simple form of digital detox is only available for Google and Android phones so far. Using your phone as just a phone is a novel idea, but can you survive without another selfie?

Bad Google

The themes of information and privacy, particularly their intersection with technology, are important for Christians as de-platforming and censorship pose a real threat to the spread of the Gospel. Google has reworked its cookie tracking system for Chrome, which will lead to changes in the background activity of your browser. Big Brother Google is not going to stop watching you, they are just inventing new ways of data harvesting that are harder to switch off.

The Sidewalk! It’s Alive!

On a lighter note, this report about a living pavement that can heal itself is super cool. Hope it works!

Might as Well Escape to ... the 16th Century?

For those of you with lots of time on your hands, this list of top ten strategy games should sort you out. Ranking first was Twilight Imperium, a 10 hour game, which I've played twice (winning on my latest attempt, thank you very much.) Further down the same list is Here I Stand, a tabletop game about political intrigue, not the Reformation per se, but any game that has Dr. Luther on the cover with his Bible open deserves to be checked out.

Question of the week:

What are your favorite board games?

Reply to send in your response!

Without Flesh: Snippet of the Week
Read More

In American Christianity, the "change or die" refrain has become a creed. Unless the Church finds a way to adapt to a changing culture, Christianity is fully and rightly doomed. Our times are nothing new. And Jesus gave us a specific plan.

When you buy Without Flesh, use the code REVFISK at check-out to recieve 20% off your purchase off Echo:  Unbroken Truth Worth Repeating, Again from CPH.

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Next Week in the Exile:
Blood Sanctifies
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Missed last week?  Read from the beginning.

On Curses and Cussing, Part 3: The Issue with Fracking

Ergo! To avoid wounding sensitive ears while also striving to capture the verve of real language, in writing Dust I am stealing a page from the almost-awesome TV reboot of Battlestar Galactica.

Forget that the show never quite nailed it, even all the way up to its complete inability to reach a satisfactory conclusion for anyone who‘d watched through so many seasons. Just zoom in on the fact: its writers wanted to get away with cussing on prime time TV. They wanted to drop F-bombs left and right, all over the show, and not be called out for it or censored.

So... they cleverly invented a new word that sounded an awful lot like the F-bomb but was not, in fact, the F-bomb. Their brand new F-bomb had a different consonant and a shifted vowel. Just like that, “frak” bombs were dropping left and right through years of space fighting fantasy.

In truth, I considered “frak” to be uncreative, distracting, and boring. It was the only change in the language, and so it felt forced. For Dust, I wanted to do more. Curse words are not the only new words in Dust. They are just the ones you might recognize the fastest. I didn't want to just replace one letter with another, but I wanted to build the vivid experience of a dystopian world truly built on the ruins of thin one, including the ruins of our language.

No matter what two hundred years in the future might bring, it is all but guaranteed that English (if it is spoken) will not be the same as it is now. But many of the same sounds/words will be present, mixed with new meanings, infused and confused with all the ups and downs and pains and joys of the culture that speaks them.

More next time…

Images Used:

Illuminated Book