Wednesday, February 19, 2014

March 2014

Kneeling for “and was made man”

hat phrase is the portion of the Nicene Creed under the Second Article, which reads as follows: “[I believe ] in one Lord Jesus Christ . . . who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary and  was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate.  He suffered and was buried,” etc. 
   The phrase is not identical in meaning with the phrase that precedes it, namely, “and was incarnate . . .”   That is, we are not simply repeating here the fact that our Lord took upon Himself human flesh.  Rather, we are saying that in His incarnation He also chose humiliation; He chose to take upon Himself the curse of our flesh.  The distinction is important, for it separates the importance of His incarnation from the importance of His deep humility for our salvation.  The incarnation is highlighted at Christmas; the humiliation, during Passion-tide and especially Holy Week. The incarnation is logically prior to the humiliation, even though both begin at the same time.  Hence they are confessed separately in the Creed.
   It is also for this reason that I’ve long taught about the helpful practice of kneeling for the phrase.  It is of course a very traditional practice, in addition to which it is a very helpful way of remembering that when we say “He was made man” we are affirming His humiliation in the flesh for us.  The physical (and Biblical) way to make this confession is to bend the knee.
   The space between pews is a bit narrow for this, and some members have difficulty with the knees, so I’d suggest that perhaps you can at least bow the head at this place.
   I believe this parish will benefit greatly from learning this traditional practice together, and what better time than Lent to learn it?  In our Propers books, the section of the creed is actually marked with three asterisks (***) and underlining, where the underlining begins from the time to prepare to kneel until the time we are again standing upright.  The actual kneeling, when the right knee is on the ground (if possible), is during the words “and was made man.”  For a visual cue and reminder, just watch me when as celebrant I do this, and the server and acolyte.
   For we will all do well to recall well and ponder our Lord’s deep humiliation for us and for our salvation.

+ Pastor Eckardt

Robin Sighting Contest

This year’s winner for the contest is Michele Keehner, a friend of the congregation from Peoria.  Although Peoria is a wee bit south of here, the judges have ruled that her sighting, on February 11th, can be counted. Congratulations!

Shut ins

Mary Hamilton at home; Anna Baker at  home; Mirilda Greiert at Kewanee Care; Emmy Wear at Williamsfield.

Private Confession is always available to anyone between 6 and 6:30 pm on these Wednesdays (and also, as always, by appointment). Pastor is usually available as well on Saturdays, from about 4 pm until Mass.

In Our Prayers

In addition to our shut-ins, our current list of prayer intentions at mass includes the names on the lists here following.  Anyone wishing to update the lest by ddition or subtraction, please inform the pastor.

in our parish:
Ann Baker
Sara Bidni
Emilie Ricknell
John Ricknell
Linda Rowe
Sharon Hartz
John Sovanski
Jean Russell [surgery March 24]

And also:
David Dakin [re Harris]
Anna Rutowicz [re Harris]
Julie Ross [Svetlana Meaker’s daughter, cancer]
Caleb Cleaver [Ricknell]
Christian Johnson [re Kemerlings]
Madison Lindsay [re Andersons]
Michelle Steuber [re Fisher]
Jill Matchett [re Shreck]
Anthony Strand, [re Murphys]
Mark Elbus [re Kegebeins]
Edna Day [Chris Harden’s mother-in-law, cancer]
Carolyn Lewis [re Campbells]
Barb Fornoff, having surgery tomorrow [Feb 17]
Rev. Don Chambers [Manito]
Rev. Brian Feicho [E. St. Louis]
Rev. Glenn Niemann [Pekin]
Rev. Arthur Baisch [cancer]

In the military:
John Eckardt
Donny Appleman [re Ricknell]
Thomas Kim [re Shreck]
Jaclyn Harden Alvarez
Michael Creech
and Richard Heiden

In trouble:

any unborn children in danger of abortion, and those suffering from unrest, persecution, and imprisonment in Columbia, Malaysia, China, North Korea, and elsewhere.

Details at the bottom of the newsletter.

Altar Guild Notes

·        The new paraments have been dedicated and are now in use.
·        We welcome Carol Eckardt as our newest member.
·        The paraments color for the month of March is VIOLET, except:
·        Wednesday, March 19th, is St. Joseph’s Day.  Color is WHITE.
·        Wednesday, March 26th, we will observe the Annunciation.  Color is WHITE.
Next meeting is Tuesday, March 4th.

First Tuesday Vespers, etc.

March 4th, Altar Guild is at 6 pm, Vespers is
at 6:45, and Elders is at 7:15, as usual.

March Birthdays:
3/1      Barbra Kraklow
3/2      Joseph Eckardt
3/8      Carol Kegebein
3/25    Carol Eckardt

March Ushers

Allan Kraklow Steve Kraklow, Tom Wells

March Anniversary

3/19/1977 Jeff and Diana Shreck

Lenten Masses

Daily mass is scheduled throughout Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, March 5th. The most excellent way to benefit from Lent is through worship. See the calendar for the schedule. If your schedule does not permit you to take advantage of daily mass, perhaps at least an added effort to make it to Wednesday evening mass would work for you.
Lenten Suppers

We are again having Lenten soup suppers on Wednesdays in March except for Ash Wednesday, at 5 pm. Join your family of the faithful for this time together.  It’s a convenient time too, just prior to midweek Lenten masses.

Daily Mass during Lent

    We will again be holding daily masses during Lent, beginning with two on Ash Wednesday.  Members have the option of attending at 7 am or 7 pm (or both) on Ash Wednesday.  Thereafter, daily masses will be held at 9 am, excepting Wednesdays (when mass is at 7 pm) and Saturdays (when mass is at 5:30 pm). Members (and guests) are encouraged to observe Lent in this most fitting of ways.
    Anyone traveling from a distance to attend one of our special masses should call first, since occasionally these masses have to be cancelled on short notice.


"Call No Man Father:" Luther's Take

Excerpts from a Gottesdienst Online post from Fr. Jason Braaten

When reading the Large Catechism, which is in the Book of Concord, I stumbled upon this juicy bit. In the section covering the Fourth Commandment, Luther writes: “So we have two kinds of fathers presented in this commandment: fathers in blood and fathers in office. Or, those who have the care of the family and those who have the care of the country. Besides these there are still spiritual fathers. They are not like those in the papacy, who have had themselves called fathers but have performed no function of the fatherly office [Matthew 23:9]. For the only ones called spiritual fathers are those who govern and guide us by God’s Word. In this sense, St. Paul boasts his fatherhood in 1 Corinthians 4:15, where he says, “I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” Now, since they are fathers, they are entitled to their honor, even above all others. But to spiritual fathers the least amount of honor is bestowed. The way the world knows for honoring them is to drive them out of the country and to begrudge them a piece of bread. In short, spiritual fathers must be (as says St. Paul [1 Corinthians 4:13]) like the filth of the world and everybody’s refuse and foot rag. Yet there is need that this truth about spiritual fatherhood also be taught to the people. For those who want to be Christians are obliged in God’s sight to think them worthy of double honor who minister to their souls [1 Timothy 5:17–18]. They are obligated to deal well with them and provide for them. For that reason, God is willing to bless you enough and will not let you run out. But in this matter everyone refuses to be generous and resists. All are afraid that they will perish from bodily needs and cannot now support one respectable preacher, where formerly they filled ten potbellies. Because of this, we also deserve for God to deprive us of His Word and blessing and to allow preachers of lies to arise again and lead us to the devil. In addition, they will drain our sweat and blood. But those who keep God’s will and commandment in sight have this promise: everything they give to temporal and spiritual fathers, and whatever they do to honor them, shall be richly repaid to them. They will not have bread, clothing, and money for a year or two, but will have long life, support, and peace. They shall be eternally rich and blessed. So just do what is your duty. Let God manage how He will support you and provide enough for you. Since He has promised it and has never lied yet, He will not be found lying to you [Titus 1:2].” (LC I:158–165). 

There you have it guys. Luther says it's okay. He also says that whatever you do to honor your fathers, temporal and spiritual, “shall be richly repaid.”

The New Testament in His Blood
This series contains brief liturgical explanations which appear in Pastor Eckardt’s book The New Testament in His Blood (Gottesdienst, 2010).


The Pax follows the Words of Institution: the celebrant takes the chalice in his left hand and holds the celebrant’s host over it in his right hand and turns to face the people. He elevates the elements, keeping the host over the chalice, and declares, “The peace of the Lord be with you alway.” The celebrant had had his back to the people during the Sanctus, the Our Father, the Verba, and his own self-communion, as if to hide the face of Christ, who died and thus was hidden from His people; but now when the celebrant turns to them again for this blessing, he is essentially reenacting the resurrection appearance of Jesus to His disciples in the upper room on the day of His resurrection when He said, “Peace be unto you.”
The old rubric holding that a bishop uttering the Pax and simply repeating the words of the Lord verbatim (Pax vobiscum—peace be with you) made the connection even clearer.

Agnus Dei and Secrets
As soon as the elements have been consecrated and adored, the congregation breaks into singing the Agnus Dei: O Christ Thou Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us . . . These words are an echo of the words of John the Baptist who pointed Christ out to His disciples, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world” (St. John 1:19) Thus the assembled Church also, who likewise have just been shown Christ the Lamb in the consecrated Elements, now confess that He is truly there. Thus it is toward the Sacrament that these words are sung, a subtle but profound movement of heart and mind during this singing. That is, we do not here merely pray to Christ in the same way as we do at other times. The Agnus Dei (which is Latin for “Lamb of God”) is directed specifically toward Christ on the altar.
In this way we make another subtle confession against receptionism. Receptionism is an error by which some hold that the Body and Blood of Christ are not actually present until or unless they are received. The receptionist error seeks to slice and divide which of the consecrated elements are Jesus’ Body and Blood and which are not, or worse, to put off the moment of the change until the bread is received. It amounts to a new reading of Christ’s words, as if He had said, “This will become my Body when you eat it, but is not yet at this moment of consecration my body.” But Christ said is, and He cannot lie. The Zwinglians of Luther’s day denied altogether that the Sacrament is truly Christ’s Body and Blood, but that is only a difference in degree: the receptionists put off the effect of is until later, whereas the Zwinglians put it off until never. The sophistry of receptionism is far worse than transubstantiation, which is merely a philosophical construct by which it is held that the essence or substance of the elements changes while the attributes or accidents of them stay the same, with the result that bread and wine are no longer essentially present at all. Though we reject also transubstantiation as a philosophical attempt to unravel the mystery, we find receptionism to be much more offensive, since a wholesale rejection of Christ’s is is worse than the mere impropriety of its philosophical analysis. Hence we are given a most fitting opportunity to confess especially against the receptionists at the Agnus Dei: we are kneeling, adoring, and praying to Christ whom we believe to be truly present in the Sacrament as it sits on the altar, His true Body and Blood.
A helpful rubric during the singing of this canticle is to strike the breast with closed fist each time at the word “sin,” an acknowledgement that the sin of the world is also my sin.
Meanwhile the celebrant is praying the Secrets, which are different but similar prayers. He is also kneeling and privately praying, “. . . Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof; only say the word and my soul shall be healed . . .” In this way the Church is reenacting the events of Gethsemane, wherein Jesus instructed His disciples to watch and pray as He went a stone’s throw from them and prayed privately. The celebrant, who represents Jesus here, does in essence the same thing.

Details of the persecuted:
COLOMBIA: Murdered Father and Son Together in Eternity
On January 10th, "Manuel," 35, and his 11-year-old son, "Daniel," were brutally tortured and murdered by members of the FARC guerrilla group in the village of Guacamayas (Guaviare). In this region of Colombia, Christians face strong persecution from the guerrilla groups who threaten, pressure and forbid them from preaching the Gospel in rural areas. Manuel, a recent convert to Christianity, leaves behind his pregnant wife and their three daughters, who range in age from three to 17. The family has since been moved to another city. The pastor who leads the church that Manuel and his family attended received a letter recently from the FARC, stating, "You must leave the region or you'll die." Included in the letter was a picture of a coffin.

MALAYSIA: Perpetrators Stir Strife Between Religious Groups
A church in Penang was attacked on January 26th when two men on a motorcycle threw Molotov cocktails at the building. Thankfully, the building sustained minimal damage as only one of the explosives detonated. The attack came less than 24 hours after five separate churches discovered banners hung on their property with the phrase, "Allah is great, Jesus is the son of Allah" -- a slogan that is extremely offensive to Muslims who do not want non-Muslims using the word "Allah." The banners appear to have been put up by a group wishing to stir up trouble between Christians and Muslims. Each of the churches has filed a report with police about the acts of vandalism. In October of 2013, the use of the word "Allah" was banned for non-Muslims in the country, sparking heated debates over the legal right of Christians (and others) to use the Arabic term for God in the Bible, other printed materials and worship services. On January 2nd, over 20 officers raided the Bible Society of Malaysia in Selangor State. Four of the officers were from the Islamic Religious Department, the highest Islamic authority in Malaysia.
Despite the lack of search warrants, more than 330 copies of the Bible in the Malay and Iban languages were confiscated.
CHINA: Crackdown Preceded Chinese New Year Celebrations
Before the commencement of the nation's Chinese New Year celebrations, which began on January 31st, Christians were targeted several times in what is believed to be a crackdown on church activity.  In Beijing, members of a church group were arrested on January 24th when they tried to visit Zhang Wenhe, a fellow member. The 19 Christians had initially gone to Zhang's home for a Bible study, only to discover that he was being held under house arrest at another location. Upon learning of Zhang’s new location, and the fact that he was experiencing serious health concerns due to a heart problem, the believers tried to deliver food and medicine to him. Authorities then detained 15 of the believers, including Zhang, a 14-year-old male and another believer with heart trouble. Meanwhile, churches in central Henan province and southern Guangdong province have also reported intense persecution. In Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong, police have disrupted the gatherings of a house church twice a week since the start of January. In Neihuang County, Henan, many Christians are fearful to attend their church meetings because of the opposition they have endured from several local government departments.
NORTH KOREA: Perpetrators Stir Strife Between Religious Groups
According to a UN report released in February, Christians are among those held in permanent suspicion as would-be "enemies of the people," a treasonous condition in which one forfeits all humanity: merciless starvation within prison camps, forced abortions, and other atrocities.
Sources: Open Doors, VOM USA, World Watch News, China Aid, Release International, The Wall Street Journal  Websites:;

St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church
   109 S. Elm Street

   Kewanee, IL 61443

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