Sunday, July 24, 2011
A tiny golden bell pulled from an ancient sewer beneath the Old City of Jerusalem was shown Sunday by Israeli archaeologists, who hailed it as a rare find. It appears to have been sewn as an ornament onto the clothes of a wealthy resident of the city two millennia ago.
The relic, found last week, is the only such bell to be found in Jerusalem from the Second Temple period, and as such is a rare find.
The Book of Exodus mentions tiny golden bells sewn onto the hem of the robes of Temple priests, along with decorative pomegranates. Those in charge of making the priestly clothes and implements "made bells of pure gold, and attached the bells around the hem of the robe between the pomegranates."
Friday, July 22, 2011
I'm still basking in the glow of the glory of God's creation after arriving home from the Lange Family Reunion near Glacier National Park in Montana. Northwest Montana is a long, long way way from Central Missouri, but it is so worth the trip. Words like magnificent, spectacular, amazing, and incredible were continually used during the course of the week as we explored the splendors of God's creation there. The beauty of the natural world, the cool mountain air, and the warmth of the extended family time we shared combined for a very memorable trip.
"O Lord, our Lord, how Majestic is Your Name in all the Earth" - Psalm 8
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
This past Wednesday, several of us from our church had the opportunity to go with fellow saints from our circuit on a bus tour to Perry County, Missouri. That area in southeast Missouri is full of history, for it was there that the first German Lutherans settled in the early days of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.
Their story began in the early 1800's in the German Kingdom of Saxony, when a number of Lutheran pastors found themselves increasingly at odds with the rationalism and unionism of the established church there.
In the neighboring Kingdom of Prussia, the Prussian Union of 1817 sought to put into place one Protestant Church, which would have essentially non-Lutheran baptismal and communion practices. In order to freely practice their Christian faith in accordance with the Lutheran confessions outlined in the Book of Concord, nearly 1,100 Saxon Lutherans left for the United States in November 1838.
Their ships arrived January 5, 1839 in New Orleans with one ship lost at sea. After heading up the Mississippi to St. Louis to look for land, most of the remaining 750 immigrants settled in Perry County, Missouri. Though Martin Stephan was initially the leader (and self-appointed bishop) of the new settlement, he became embroiled in charges of corruption and misconduct with members of the congregation and was expelled from the settlement, leaving C.F.W.Walther as the leader of the colony.
Walther was one of the early Lutheran heroes in America, as he went on to become the first president of both the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and Concordia Seminary.
I continue to be struck by the firm faith, dogged determination, and core commitment of these first German Lutheran immigrants from Saxony. May God grant us a bit of their courage and resolve in these times.