Monday, January 12, 2015
At the Anderson cottage, the Christmass trees and outdoor foliage lights are extending their stay. Certainly, they look very enchanting against that newly fallen 3+ inches of powder, discovered anew this AM. It assists with the shoveling, when its too early for the coffee-additive Bailey's. But keeping the photons gallantly streaming fits very well, too, with the Lutheran hymnody devoted to this season e.g., the German J. Franck's "O Light of Gentile Nations," and the German P. Nicolai's "How Lovely Shines the Morning Star." After all, due to the God-enBabe'd ... adored by bowing Gentile kings ... all darkness, gloom and sadness are enfeebled and thoroughly banished, by His all-encompassing Light.
Once God was mangered; now He is altared. That is emphasized in yet another great Epiphanytide hymn, composed by the Englishman J. Montgomery: "Angels from the Realms of Glory," its verse 4 (TLH 136) in particular.
Saints before the altar bending,
Watching long in hope and fear,
Suddenly the Lord, descending,
In His Temple shall appear.
Come and worship, come and worship;
Worship Christ the Newborn King.
See? Saints behaving out their faith, their love and their fear towards the Newborn King. See? The august Lord Christ, stooping low again to visit His people, in His Temple, even if the numbers be as low as two or three gathered together in His Name. Now, it is likely that Mr. Montgomery's immediate intent was to poetically reference the Lord's Presentation, and the Old Testament faithful waiting and yearning for such. But there is more to the words than first meets the eye, and the Lutheran should see the more and exult in it. It is wrong, spiritually blind and intemperate to separate His Mass, His Supper, from the Lord's Day or any high festival day ... whether that day be December 25 or January 6. We'll be feeding for an eternity with and on the Once Feed-Troughed; all self-described Lutherans had best get used to it, then, in the here-and-now.
Posted by Michael L. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D at 7:51 AM