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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Week of May 22, 2016

Our Book of Confessions is pretty cool.  It tends to freak folks out when they realize that the Presbyterian Church (USA) has a constitution that goes along with scripture.
Of course, our constitution is subordinate to and based entirely upon scripture.  That constitution includes our Book of Confessions as well as our Book of Order.

In our Book of Confessions, you'll find "The Heidelberg Catechism," written around 1562 in order to ease some tensions between those of the Reformed Church and Lutheran Church over the particular way in which Christ is present in the Lord's Supper.  This catechism is known most for its first question and answer:

Q.  What is your only comfort in life and in death?

Stop and think about it.  How would you answer that question, honestly?  Maybe we should ask it in another way.  What in this life, and what we think will be in death, most puts us at ease with our current situation?  Not to get too political, but the bulk of our media would have us believe it's all about coming to terms with public bathroom usage; coming to terms with the way public officials handle classified information; deciding whether or not it's okay to raise $21,000,000 giving speeches to corporate America; wrestling with the possibility of electing a socialist as President or the possibility of electing The Donald [inset your meaning here] as President; and so on and so forth.  Maybe you're a parent, grandparent, guardian, or caregiver.  If so, your answer may revolve around a person and their well-being.  It could be you're one of those personality types that loves mirrors, so maybe then your answer would be about "the ol' number one."

The answer to that question becomes more ambiguous as I get older.  Is that a sign of wisdom or deterioration?  I know...I know: one question at a time.

Well, as I deteriorate, I'm going to leave off contemplating this stuff and just give you the best answer I've heard to the question so that I can get back to watching the Cardinals and the Nationals duke it out here in the fourth inning.

A.  That I am not my own,
but belong--
body and soul,
in life and in death--
to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.

He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of the Devil.
He also watches over me in such a way
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven,
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.

Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.

"From now on to live for him"--I like the sound of that.

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