Teaser Tuesday: Fatal Discord

Like a blue moon, the Wheel of Time has finally turned ‘round again to Teaser Tuesday.

Continue reading “Teaser Tuesday: Fatal Discord”

Reformation Polka 300K

From Chris, the Pietist Schoolman:

I’m loath to draw any more attention to a music video that seems destined to reach far more people than my writing or teaching. But hey, the 500th anniversary of the 95 Theses doesn’t happen all that often, and we’re less than 10,000 hits away from the 300,000 mark. So once more, with feeling:

Happy Reformation Day 

It’s the 499; I’m planning something big for next year 🙂

An Old-Fashioned Diet

It’s always a risk to make historical puns; the chances that someone will understand are maybe 50/50 on a good day. Oh well, time to throw caution to the wind. Continue reading “An Old-Fashioned Diet”

First Advent

Luther Gesangbuch Advent und Weinachts_Lieder
Yes, this is actually mine.
It’s from an 1882 Kirchen-Gesangbuch
[Evangelical Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod]

I’ve said quite a bit over the last twenty-one months, but have generally avoided neglected refrained from things of a more religious nature.

Nevertheless, we are approaching a time of year celebrated by most Christians around the world. I’m referring – of course – to Advent.

Martin LutherMy own religious preferences have never been “High Church” so-to-speak. Creeds and liturgies just aren’t my thing, you understand. I have nothing against them personally, it’s just that I think religion of any kind needs to come from the heart. If you’re told exactly how to respond to a particular reading, doesn’t that take away the personal aspect of religion? I don’t mean to start a theological discussion; this is just the way I think.

That said, I find some liturgies absolutely gorgeous. And as I’ve begun to meditate on the Christmas season, I find myself drawn to observing Advent for the first time.

I suppose I should have seen it coming. I’ve spent the last year independently researching medieval and early modern Christian traditions. I’ve waded through beautifully illuminated manuscripts (isn’t the digital age wonderful?), finally putting my college-level Middle English and Frakturschrift skills to use.

For the first time I’ve found myself searching aisles for Advent candles and wondering if I’ve found the right color (confounded colorblindness). I’ve scoured the internet for at-home reading, songs, and meditations.

Last night I lit my purple candle . . .

Purple Advent Candle
[ok, so I really found one online]

sang Veni, Veni, Emmanuel . . .

Veni, veni Emmanuel!
Captivum solve Israel!
Qui gemit in exilio,
Privatus Dei Filio,
Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel.

and read Isaiah 40:1-5.

Tröstet, tröstet mein Volk! spricht euer Gott; redet mit Jerusalem freundlich und predigt ihr, daß ihre Dienstbarkeit ein Ende hat, denn ihre Missetat ist vergeben; denn sie hat Zwiefältiges empfangen von der Hand des HERRN für alle ihre Sünden. Es ist eine Stimme eines Predigers in der Wüste: Bereitet dem HERRN den Weg, macht auf dem Gefilde eine ebene Bahn unserm Gott! Alle Täler sollen erhöht werden und alle Berge und Hügel sollen erniedrigt werden, und was ungleich ist, soll eben, und was höckericht ist, soll schlicht werden; denn die Herrlichkeit des HERRN soll offenbart werden, und alles Fleisch miteinander wird es sehen; denn des HERRN Mund hat es geredet.

Advent: A Celebration in Three Languages. And this is just the start!

I’d like to know: do you observe Advent?

If so, what do you do or what are your traditions?

I’d love to hear from you!


Gypsy Blood

Dear-OctoberThe calendar changed today. I suppose there’s nothing inherently special about turning the page of an arbitrary system set up hundreds of years ago. But the fact it’s October 1 means something to me.

You might remember I absolutely love the fall. Perhaps love is too strong; maybe it isn’t strong enough. Something about this time of year really gets me going (in a good way).

As I sit here with my caramel-flavored coffee and Boston Cream doughnut, I can’t help but think of things to come.

medieval doctor plague mask
Throwback Thursday!

Halloween Superstores offer “affordable” costumes and decorations. I never buy anything, but hold out hope that *this year* I’ll find an affordable black cape to complement my plague mask – or as mass commercialism calls it, a “Venetian Masquerade Mask.” Come on marketers – how can you not call it a plague mask? Do you know how many you’d sell?

Pumpkins – need I say more?

The weather becomes cooler and more runner-friendly. Normally I’d be winding down – or up, as the case may be – for a marathon. Unfortunately, I’m not able to afford one this year. That doesn’t mean I still can’t be excited!

Although I haven’t been able to get out hunting for the past few years, I enjoy listening to the tales my students and colleagues bring back from the field. They also bring me venison, so that’s a plus. I’ve earned a reputation for some of the best venison roast around (thanks, Dad!).

venison roast
Not mine, but similar.

Apple pie made from fresh, orchard-grown apples. Again, I don’t mean to brag – all right, in this case I do – but I make some of the best apple pie you’ll ever have. I make the dough from scratch and make my own filling with a secret blend of apples and spices. You can’t just throw any old apple in a pie, you know. Well, I suppose you can, but it won’t taste good. Sorry, that’s just how it is.

Martin LutherFall Festivals, Harvest Festivals, Corn Mazes – Yes! (Just say “NO!” to the fair!)

Reformation Day – come on now, you must have figured out I celebrate it!

And that’s just events in October; November offers a whole other month of wonderful fall bliss!

Happy Autumn, Everyone!

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