20 January 2003

Hiatus

I've decided to take a break from blogging for a while. I don't really have the time nor the inclination at present and am weary of internet-based discussions. Thanks for your past attention and interaction.

The grace of Christ be with you all.

17 January 2003

Yikes

I realized this morning that haven't blogged in two weeks. It doesn't seem like that long.

Things here have been busy with the semester starting back up, various obligations, things that were left undone during the holidays, and preparing for Berek to stay with us (we are, by the way, enjoying having him stay with us and all the wonderful help he provides).

I'm attempting to finish an article on the Gospel and politics, revise some online essays, and keep up with some of the discussions of the AAPC controversy (mostly reading--not so much as a participant in the discussions). I have a number of things I'd like to blog about in coming days: John 3, modernism, covenant theology, justification, and so on....but I'm not sure when I will next have the time.

03 January 2003

Wanamaker's Light Show

The 1911 store is no longer the John Wanamaker's Department Store, but the grand old building still remains in center city Philadelphia, largely retaining its original grandeur, though in the hands of a different retail corporation.



And it still does house one of the world's largest pipe organs in its atrium...



...in the shadow of which Philadelphians continue to meet each other at the bronze eagle.



Gone, however, are Wanamaker's ten stories of shopping, reduced down to a mere three floors of clothing. Gone also is the sprawling toy department with its indoor monorail ride. And gone too is John Wanamaker's office, left untouched from the time of his death in 1922 until the store was bought out several years ago.



And yet, through all these changes and every year since 1956, the grand court of the store has drawn people to its Christmas light show, entertaining wide-eyed children with music and color.



We took Claire to see the show on New Year's day this year and she watched in wonder, squealing with glee as sugar-plum fairies, snowflakes, toy soldiers, and reindeer twinkled above.



The Christmas light show was a tradition for my family as I grew up and I hope it will be a tradition Claire comes to enjoy as well.

01 January 2003

On the Church Calendar...

...New Year's is the commemoration of the circumcision of Jesus, eight days after Christmas, sometimes called "Holy Name" since Jewish children typically received their name at circumcision.

And this seems fitting. New Year's is a time of transition, when the old becomes the new, when we reflect upon the past and evaluate how it will shape the future, what new things will be begun, and what might best remain left behind.

As Jesus was circumcised, he was initiated into the covenant that God had made with Abraham and his seed and received the name "Jesus"--Yahweh is Savior. That circumcision would culminate in the circumcision of the Cross, in which Jesus' own flesh would be definitively cut off and he would enter, in the resurrection, into the New Creation as our Savior. Circumcision, and the name given then to our Lord, marked his entire life of one of transition: the passing away of the Old and its transformation into the New.

And we are incorporated into that transition when we are baptized into that Name and Jesus becomes our Savior and we enter into his New Creation. New Year's, then, is a time to recall our baptisms into the circumcision of Christ (Colossians 2:11-15) and, in light of that, becomes a time to press forward in all things made new in Christ.

    Eternal Father, you gave to your incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we pray, the love of him who is the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.