Something Different: Vaughan Williams’ Lord, Thou Hast Been Our Refuge performed by the Concordia Choir
If you like the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams, I think you will like this performance by the Concordia Choir, directed by Rene Clausen.
From Stefan Molyneux, here are some thoughts on “The Death of Nations: Globalism, Immigration and Migrant Crisis”. He is answering a question that includes this: “And, of course, the Western nations will pay for the support of all these immigrants, many of whom are illiterate, have few if any employable skills, are ignorant of law and order, and bring with them totalitarian ideologies. Could you discuss this redistribution of the global population as it relates to our Western values of self-determination and individual liberties?” Note the early comments at the introduction to this, by an American whose husband is Swedish, about the changes in Sweden in the last three decades – quite sad.
From Dr. John Woodhouse, formerly of Moore Theological College in Australia, here is a message on God’s Wisdom – for the Spiritual. It is based on 1 Corinthians 2 and is the second in a series he preached on 1 Corinthians. If you like Dr. Woodhouse I think you will like this message.
This is the first of three messages given by the Rev. Dr. Ashley Null at the Anglican Future Conference in Australia, held in 2015. In these messages he talks about our heritage from Cranmer and the Anglican Reformers – a lot to think about.
One of the readings for the First Sunday after Epiphany is the account of Jesus being found in the Temple by His parents (Luke 2:41), and in the book Faith and Life, there is a quote from St. Augustine that addresses this, which I have quoted before:
When our Lord Jesus Christ was in regard to His Manhood twelve years old, while in regard to His Godhead He is before all times and independent of time, He tarried behind Joseph and Mary in the temple, and talked with the doctors, and they were astonished at His understanding. But His parents returning from Jerusalem sought Him in their company,—and, not finding Him, returned in distress to Jerusalem, and found Him talking in the temple with the doctors, when He was, as I said, twelve years old. But what marvel? The Word of God is never silent; but He is not always heard. He is then found in the temple, and His Mother says to Him, “Why hast Thou thus dealt with us? Thy father and I have sought Thee sorrowing.” He answers, “Did ye not know that I must be in what belongs to My Father?” This He said, because He, the Son of God, was in the temple of God; nor did He wish to be in such a sense their son as not to be understood to be the Son of God. For the Son of God was always the Son of God, the Creator of those very parents of His.
–St. Augustine, Sermon li.
Here is another excerpt from Faith and Life, from a sermon by St. Maximus on the Epiphany.
When Chaldeans, led on by the rays of a specially brilliant star, adored the Christ, there was given to the Gentiles a hope of worshipping the true God. When water, by a new order of things, was turned into wine, a foretaste was given us of the Sacrament of the new Cup. And when the Lamb of God was baptized, that gift of regenerating Baptism, which is so salutary to us, was consecrated. Therefore, since we have lately kept the Nativity of our Saviour with exulting gladness, we are bound, for His honour, and with hearty devotion, to celebrate also this birthday of His mighty works. And how rightly are these three mysteries proclaimed by us as wrought on one day, seeing that we confess the mystery of the ineffable Trinity under the one name of God! By means of these miracles, therefore, Christ our Lord and Redeemer was pleased to reveal Himself to the eyes of men, that His invisible Godhead which lay hidden in His Manhood might display itself in His working. Let us therefore spiritually rejoice in spiritual gifts, casting aside all sensual pleasure; that the light of the heavenly star may irradiate the darkness of our hearts, the blessing of the Father’s voice illumine us, and the wine of salvation gladden us when poured out by Christ’s hand.
–St. Maximus, Sermon on the Epiphany.
He certainly conveys a sense of the threefold wonder we remember on the Feast of the Epiphany.
This being the Feast of the Epiphany, here again is a good passage from Faith and Life for that day, by St. Maximus.
He who was ever God with the Father, and ever was reigning, was pleased to appear to men, in a new and mysterious manner, through the Virgin; He was new as Man, but everlasting as the Lord; new as Christ, but the King of all the ages. He who before all ages proceeded as the Only-begotten from the Father, was born of Mary in the end of times. This is He who was foretold by Patriarchs, proclaimed by Prophets, heralded by Angels, accepted by Apostles. It is of one and the same that you read, “In the beginning was the Word,” and, ” The Word was made flesh.” Rejoice, therefore, and exult, thou Gentile world, now at length converted to thy God. Thou hast received the gift which Abraham rejoiced to have seen in spirit; thou hast gained by Christ what the chosen Hebrew race of old could not gain. For Israel, as we read, in fear and trembling marvelled that Moses, the chief of the people, was talking alone with God, wrapt in the cloud and on the peak of a high mountain. But unto thee has Christ been in such wise born, and with such vast graciousness has He bestowed Himself on us, as to speak to all and be seen by all. Whoever of the people drew near at that time to Mount Sinai, was punished with instant destruction; but whoever does not draw near to this Mountain, will die. Do thou, therefore, welcome the graciousness of the Eternal Majesty, and discuss not the mysterious will of thy God; for unto all indeed is Christ born, but it is to the faithful that He gives salvation. But if it seems to thy weak thought unfitting to believe that the Son of God was born of a woman; bethink thee that His Mother was a Virgin. If His being wrapt in swathingbands strikes thee as a meanness, admire the Angels and the multitude of the heavenly host singing His praises. If thou despisest the manger in which He lay as an infant, lift up thine eyes awhile and gaze on that new star in Heaven, proclaiming to the world the Lord’s Nativity. If thou believest in what seems poor, believe in what is wonderful; if thou disputest about what belongs to humiliation, revere what is high and heavenly. For it is by the same narrators, the same authorities, that thou hast learned about our Lord and Saviour what is humble and what is glorious; the whole body of facts, which belonged to the mystery of thy salvation, have been brought to light for thee by the Holy Gospels.
–St. Maximus, Sermon on the Nativity.
From the good people of Jesmond Parish Church in the United Kingdom, here is a sermon by the Rev. David Holloway – the first in a series on 1 Timothy, and titled “Entrusted with the Gospel.” One thing addressed is: how important is truth in the life of the church today?