December 9th, 2005

HTOC

Thoughts on Sacrifice

Love is sacrifice. Charity is perhaps worthless unless it costs a person something. The cross is the ultimate and super-imminent manifestation of this principal. Love must cost. To paraphrase the words that an Orthodox priest recently shared with me: the amount of love is equal to the amount of sacrifice that the act of love produced.

We see this in our Lord’s parable in which He describes the tithes of the wealthy in direct contrast to the tithes of the poor widow. The wealthy, the “benefactors of the general good”, gave thousands. The poor widow gave a penny. The wealthy did not have to think twice about the cost whereas the widow lost everything that she owned in the giving of her gift. The widow somehow, in the midst of her sacrifice, met with the cross.

I’ve been reading the Book of Leviticus and again and again there is a focus on sacrifice.

Israel offered up their finest, purest, most perfect possessions to God. Their animals were their wealth, their food and their occupation. It was a sign to God that they longed to repent.

On the cross, humanity offered up it’s finest, most perfect and valuable person to God.

Christ was not only God’s gift of love to man; Christ was man’s ultimate gift of love to God.

In the Orthodox liturgy, the elements of the Eucharist are lifted high as the priest speaks: “Thy own of Thy own we offer unto Thee”. Here again humanity lifts up Christ as a gift to God. Here again the faithful say “yes” to God.

Saying yes to God is an act of repentance. In repentance we find forgiveness. Thus the priest can say of the bread and the wine: “Lo, this has touched your lips, it will wash away your iniquities.”
HTOC

Bob Dylan Ate my Weekend

Much has been said about Bob Dylan's lyrics. They teach college courses on the subject, for goodness sake. I will not offer any commentary.
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From "Desolation Row"

Einstein, disguised as Robin Hood
With his memories in a trunk
Passed this way an hour ago
With his friend, a jealous monk
He looked so immaculately frightful
As he bummed a cigarette
Then he went off sniffing drainpipes
And reciting the alphabet
Now you would not think to look at him
But he was famous long ago
For playing the electric violin
On Desolation Row
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Clever!

Narnia is out today. That Johnny Cash film has been out for a couple of weeks now. If anyone would like to take me out to a movie, feel free. I live in Saint Paul.

Another weekend is upon us. I will spend time with friends and fellow worshippers and do a bit of shopping. I have gifts to purchase and maybe even gifts to make.