Posts tagged “Love

Sermo Dei: Exaudi 2017

Posted on May 29th, 2017

He’s worried, the man who wrote our opening Psalm. “Hear, O Lord,” means, “Are you listening?” He seeks the Lord’s face – yet begs, “Hide not your face from me.” Why is He not listening? Why does His face appear hidden? ISIS blows up children in Manchester; Coptic Christians are gunned down in Egypt’s desert. Did the Lord not hear them? Why does His face appear hidden? There you stand, at the grave of your wife. There you stumble, at the difficult moments of your life. There you weep, as your child struggles and suffers. There you sigh, as no companion materializes for you. Did the Lord not hear you? Why does His face appear hidden? “The LORD is my light and my salvation;…

Sermo Dei: Quinquagesima 2017

Posted on February 28th, 2017

It’s hard to love difficult people. And everywhere we go, we find them. At work. At school. On the road. Sitting behind you, kicking, talking, spilling their drink on you. “A man’s enemies will be those of His own household,” Jesus says. He’s talking about people in our own families who go to war with us because our Christianity is causing problems. But we go to war over so much less, don’t we? It’s hard to love difficult people. And people are difficult because they have difficulties. One person is sick, another has a disability, still another is frightened by something we cannot comprehend. It upsets our plans, disorients our days, disrupts our priorities. And this is all for the good, because our plans…

God has spoken in His holy place: Meditation on Psalm 108

Posted on September 8th, 2015

God does not love as we love. We may experience a glad friendship with someone, but have it ruined through misunderstanding or a conflict over power. We may experience lust, but abandon the person when our desires are sated. God’s love is set forth in tonight’s Psalm as reaching to the heavens. Here we see the primary meaning of heaven in Scripture through the parallel of clouds: “For your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.” (Psalms 108:4 ESV) God’s love is beyond human love, in that it rises beyond our sphere, surpassing our domain on the ground. More important than the greatness of God’s love, though, is the quality: God’s love is no emotion or experience. The…

Sermo Dei: Holy Thursday 2014

Posted on April 17th, 2014

Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night when He was betrayed, took bread and gave it to His disciples. And the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ immediately started an argument among themselves.   St. Luke tells us, “Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest.” (Luke 22:24 NKJV) After this, they slept instead of praying. Then, they fought, Peter cutting off a man’s ear. Then they ran.   But first, they argued. About who was greatest.   John tells us that Satan entered the heart of Judas. But Judas was not the only one inspired by Satan that night. For Satan’s work is not only in things provocatively, spectacularly evil. Satan’s work is…

Sermo Dei: Quinquagesima 2014

Posted on March 2nd, 2014

“Do you believe in miracles?” Thirty-four years ago last Sunday, Al Michaels uttered those famous words as the final seconds ticked away and the United States men’s hockey team beat the Soviets. The Miracle on Ice, as the game is now called, was more than a hockey game. It was a proxy for the cold war. The Soviet Union, with its militant atheism and murderous barbarism, could be defeated. It was a miracle America wanted to believe. Do you believe in miracles? Ask that question today, and you will find a materialistic worldview on the ascendancy in America that rejects the possibility of miracles. The disciples of Jesus knew better. They had seen Him work miracles. They weren’t tricked by a charlatan, nor were…

Christmas Eve Vespers

Posted on December 25th, 2013

Christmas Eve Vespers Matthew 1:18-25 Families. Probe beneath the surface and you’ll find they all have problems. That becomes especially manifest at Christmas. Some are divided by distance, others in anger. Divorce, death, wayward children, resentments and grudges – every family knows brokenness and pain. So it is fitting that Jesus is born into an unconventional family. Families have had problems since Cain, the first son of our first parents, killed Abel his brother. The rest of the Old Testament reads like a family therapist’s case study: betrayal, hatred, infidelity, polygamy, incest. The occasion of Mary’s pregnancy would seem to be another in a long line of sordid tales. Joseph doesn’t believe that virgins conceive. Who would? Surely nobody believes this anymore. After all,…

Sermo Dei: Holy Thursday

Posted on March 28th, 2013

The story of humanity is a failure to love. Our first father loved himself above God. Our first father’s son had fallen so far from love that he struck down his own brother. Was it love that led Jacob to lie to his father and so steal the blessing from his brother? Was it love that led you to manipulate family members and angle for favor? Was it love that drove Pharaoh to begin a program of genocide, slaughtering the baby boys of Israel? Is it love that turns a blind eye to the legal slaughtering of children by the millions in our own day? Was it love that drove Moses to smash his stick against the rock when the people were complaining? Was…

The martyrdom of enduring lust

Posted on August 6th, 2012

Moreover, it is not without purpose and beside the point when Holy Scripture states that Isaac married Rebecca when he was 40 years old. For it points out that he did not take a wife in the well-known first passion of youth but stood firm for a considerable time in his battle against and victory over the flesh and the devil. For the accounts and the experience of individuals attest how great the impatience of lust is in youth, when the urgent sensation of the flesh begins and the one sex has an ardent desire for the other. This is a malady common to the entire human race, and those who do not resist its first flames and do not suppose that there is…

Marriage is the protector of love

Posted on July 30th, 2012

Love needs marriage as much as marriage needs love. In the sad hours when love is in danger of growing cold, husband and wife cling to the fact that they are married and remind each other of their mutual promise. ‘After all, I married you,’ they say. Thus, marriage becomes the protector, the guardian of love. Walter Trobisch, I Married You

A doomed society

Posted on March 21st, 2012

We simply cannot know who we are or the life God intended us to know unless we are laying down our lives (loving) on behalf of others. A society that is self-centered and has no use for marriage or children is doomed. –Michael A. Eschelbach, Marriage and the Counsel of God