Saturday, April 28, 2012

Easter Hymns

Easter hymns are full of phrases about how we want to sing for joy; or that Jesus rose from the dead so we sing alleluia.  Lots of the lines in Easter hymns are about our response to the resurrection.

Some Easter hymns have a different kind of line, a more objective statement.  For example, "Let us feast this Easter day on Christ, the bread of heaven.  The word of grace has purged away the old and evil leaven."   Or "For the sheep the Lamb has bled, sinless in the sinners' stead."  Or "My Savior there was laid where our bed must be made when to the realms of light our spirit wings its flight."  Or "Love's redeeming work is done, fought the fight, the battle won.  Lo, our Sun's eclipse is o'er; lo, He sets in blood no more."   Or "Thou, of life the author, death didst undergo."

But it seems like the wonderfully rich lines that so often show up in Lenten hymns and communion hymns (and other sections of the hymnal) are not as abundant in Easter hymns.  I don't understand that.  Look at what Easter is.  Look at all the references to it in the Old Testament and in the epistles.  There's plenty of fodder there for allusions and imagery and depth of theology.  It is there, mixed in with the alleluias. 

I guess that's why those few that are particularly meaty and beautiful and eloquent are so special. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Doctor Visit

Maggie's been coughing for nearly four weeks.  A small cough took a turn for the worse when she picked up more germies from somebody at church.  She couldn't sing at Easter.  She began to improve, but then worsened.  Over the last few days, she began to be unable to talk after coughing, felt like there was something stuck in her throat, and finally complained that it was like she wasn't able to breathe when she was done coughing. 

At that, they squeezed us in right away.  X-rays showed no pneumonia, but there is an unevenness in her lungs, with the right one better than the left.  (The left was the one that collapsed after her last open-heart.)  So now it's a round of non-cillin antibiotics, oral steroids, and an inhaler.  I intend to make my first batch of homemade yogurt to help her get through the antibiotics. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Husbands, Be Considerate

Our catechism portion for the week includes:
"Husbands, be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner ..."

There's something about those two words set next to each other -- "be considerate" -- that makes us think about manners and politeness and opening the car door for your lady, and picking up your dirty socks, and making sure you call when you're going to be late for supper.

But that's not what it means.  It means "take into consideration."  When you look at some non-NIV translations, that becomes clear.  "Think about the fact that she has been called to submit to you, even when you're selfish and boorish and lazy.  Take into consideration that she is supposed to respect you when you prove yourself quite worthy of disrespect."

Men should still pick up their dirty socks and call when they're going to be getting home late.  But there's so much more to husbands' being "considerate as you live with your wives."

Sunday, April 22, 2012


What's up with the ghost stories?  Several of my co-workers are interested in ghosts.  One went haunted-house hunting.  They read books about ghosts.  They watch tv shows about ghost-hunting.  The other day they were talking about the shows, explaining to me what happens on the shows, and how some really freaky things are found now and then.  One of the gals asked, "Wait.  Does this talking about ghosts scare you?  Should we change the subject?" 

No.  Ghosts don't scare me.  I am a baptized child of God.  Death and Satan no longer have dominion over me.  Besides, dead people are dead, in heaven or in hell; they aren't hanging around here. 

What scares me is the fascination that this society has with demons. 

Young people today seem to have a sense of "spirituality," knowing that there's more to life than skeptics and materialists can see.  But their curiosity is leading them to demons-pretending-to-be-ghosts.  The "normalness" of this curiosity is way scarier than ghosts.