Monday, December 27, 2004


A tsunami is reported to have killed thousands in southeast Asia. MSNBC reports that the death toll is at around 22,000 and climbing. A 9.0 magnitude earthquake several miles below the ocean surface, caused (apparently) by the shifting one of the earth's plates, sent tidal waves speeding across the Indian Ocean in a number of different directions. At least nine countries have reported deaths, but Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and India report deaths in the thousands.

This seems like something out of history, out of an old book, the Bible perhaps, from a long time ago at any rate. Don't we have scientists that study these things and warn us when they're about to happen? Don't we have 'teams of experts'? Mass graves of children, bodies-bloated and floating through the streets, and muslim men trying to find dry ground to bury their loved ones all contend otherwise. If a calamity befalls a city is it not the Lord who has done it?

The earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. We seldom realize what a violent proposition that could be for some. How do the waters cover the sea? Sometimes tsunamis send tens of thousands to their grave, mass baptisms, mini floods destroying all the sacred cows.


Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Deacon Ivan James

At around 8:15 this morning I became an uncle again. My nephew, Ivan, weighed in at around 8lbs 4oz. He, being male, was a bit sluggish upon exiting the womb and thus procured for himself a ride in an airplane at a mere 7 hours old. He's crafty like his dad, I say. At any rate, please rejoice with us at Ivan's birth, but do pray that Christmas would be on time. That is, pray that mom and baby would be vigorous enough to be released from the hospital soon.


Friday, December 17, 2004

Blood of the Covenant

The Old Covenant proceded through generations by blood. Fathers bore sons, sons bore grandsons, and the blood of Abraham ran in their veins. There were the commands, yes. There was the law. There was circumcision. There were the sacrifices. But we know that ultimately it was faith in the promises of God to Abraham and to his seed, his offspring born, he was explicitly told, from his own loins. The blood of Abraham was in an important sense the blood of the Old Covenant. Covenant succession was through this blood. Having lineage and descent from the patriarchs was God's pledge and promise to fulfill his covenant to every Israelite.

But in Christ an important change took place. The blood of the Old Covenant was spilled. Christ, being a descendent of Abraham, had within himself the blood of the Old Covenant. But that blood has been shed for all men. The blood of the New Covenant is the cup of blessing in the Eucharist. Thus the lineage and descent of the New Covenant is no less by blood. We are all blood relatives in the lineage of Christ as we drink in faith. The procession of the New Covenant is no less bloody, but it has been exported. No longer bound to one human body, it has been spilled, and it is now the Church that is the body with the blood of the covenant coursing through its veins. Covenant succession is through this blood, the blood of the new covenant, shed for many. Therefore, all of you, drink of it.


Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Luke's Genealogy of Christ

Luke begins his record in chapter 3 with Jesus and works backwards all the way to “Adam, the son of God”. Luke’s record gives us 77 names beginning with Jesus and ending with the ‘first father’ God himself. The number is of course significant indicating the fullness or completeness of Jesus twice over. Jesus is Son of God and Son of Man. The placement of the genealogy indicates this further. Luke records the lineage of Jesus right after Jesus’ baptism and right before his temptation in the wilderness. God declares of Jesus at his baptism, “You are my beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” Then, to show how this is true also by physical descent, Luke traces his family back to God through Adam. Finally, it is also important to note that chapter 3 ends with ‘Adam, the son of God’ and chapter 4 begins with the temptation in the wilderness by the devil. Jesus is the new Adam being tempted by the devil.

Also, the movement from Trinity at the baptism backwards through history back to Adam in the garden and finally picking up again with Christ being tempted in the desert is spectacular. Luke puts the Trinity (in Christ) in the garden that has become a desert to be tempted. God does battle with the devil on our behalf and on behalf of all those generations that were between.


Saturday, December 11, 2004


Falling with form through the air
curled—back out, toes pointed,
glimmering—I’m inside, peering out.
The world is coming so fast.
An elevator unleashed.
And I, I lean back from the glass.
Steam rising from my cup,
aroma in flight, riding in a rain drop.