Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"paul, the apostle and martyr"

Pope Benedict delivered the news on Sunday that fragments of bones found in the tomb traditionally considered to be that of Saint Paul did indeed date from the first or second century.

Which means that, in all likelihood, they are the bones of the Apostle Paul - bones that have been there for nearly 2000 years, yet have only been discovered in our time.

Though the carbon-dating experts knew nothing of their origins, the bone fragments were recovered with a tiny probe inserted into the tomb which lies in a crypt beneath the Basilica of St Paul outside the Walls in Rome - a church believed to be built on the site where Paul was buried.

It was only three years ago that the tomb itself was discovered by Vatican archaeologists.
The fact that it was positioned exactly underneath the epigraph Paulo Apostolo Mart (Paul the Apostle and Martyr) at the base of the altar convinced them it was Paul's tomb.

Now backed by the evidence of his carbon-dated bone fragments, the Pope has announced that this seems to confirm the unanimous and uncontested tradition that the bone fragments are the mortal remains of the Apostle Paul.

These are inspiring new discoveries of the Christian faith's roots in actual history.
Historical research alone will never produce faith. But it has always been part of the Christian claim that it was historically rooted with real people in real places at real times.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

apostle paul on the wall

ROME (Reuters) – Vatican archaeologists using laser technology have discovered what they believe is the oldest image in existence of the Apostle Paul on catacomb walls beneath Rome.
Experts of the Commission for Sacred Archaeology made the discovery on June 19 in the Catacomb of Santa Tecla in Rome and describe it as the "oldest icon in history dedicated to the Apostle."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

the lost ark?

The patriarch of the Orthodox Church of Ethiopia says he will announce to the world Friday the unveiling of the Ark of the Covenant, perhaps the world's most prized archaeological and spiritual artifact, which he says has been hidden away in a church in his country for millennia.
Abuna Pauolos, in Italy for a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI this week, said, "Soon the world will be able to admire the Ark of the Covenant described in the Bible as the container of the tablets of the law that God delivered to Moses and the center of searches and studies for centuries."
Should be interesting to see what they've got.

Meanwhile, here's what the prophet Jeremiah says -
"And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more." (Jeremiah 3:16)

Why does Jeremiah prophesy that the ark will not be remembered or visited? Beacuse he knew that when the Messiah comes, God's presence would finally be with His people once and for all, and the ark of the covenant would no longer be necessary.
So now, since Christ has come, the presence of God is no longer relegated to an ark or a temple in Jerusalem. Now God is present with His people through His Word and Sacraments. Now He makes His home in their hearts by grace through faith, by the power of the Holy Spirit to all who believe. Thanks be to God that He has kept His covenant to us, and that we can be in His presence continually through His Son Jesus Christ, safe in the ark of the Christian Church.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

the church

"the one holy Church is to continue forever. The Church is the congregation of saints, in which the Gospel is rightly taught and the Sacraments are rightly administered." - AC VII

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

augsburg confession

This week marks the anniversary of the Presentation of the Augsburg Confession, which was presented at a council in Augsburg, Germany on June 25th, 1530. The Augsburg Confession was one of the most important documents of the Protestant Reformation, and continues to be the primary confession of faith of the Lutheran Church today.

Diet of Augsburg, 1530

Saturday, June 20, 2009

happy fathers day

Happy Father's Day, Dad - Here's to many more exciting adventures in the future!

Friday, June 19, 2009

back at the black

The US Open is under way at Bethpage Black on Long Island, New York.
The sign tells me this is definitely not a course for me ...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Be a Barnabas

Barnabas is often seen as merely Paul's assistant, as just a side-kick of more important people.
But Barnabas was actually a VIP in the early church, one of the unsung heroes of the New Testament, a man who truly followed the example of Jesus Christ. He was a man who loved God and loved other people. He was exactly what his name means - Son of Encouragement.
How do we know that? Because every single time he is mentioned in the Bible, he is encouraging people. I encourage you to be a be a Barnabas today!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

the mystery of the trinity

Three in One and One in Three, Holy and Blessed Trinity