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Politics And Scripture
Last week a correspondent sent a "cute" Scriptural quote and related it to President Obama. The Psalm he cited, though, is what is known as an Imprecatory Psalm - a nasty rant in which the Psalmist calls down curses on someone he doesn't like. Let's look at the next verse of this particular Psalm: "Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow." Not so cute now, is it? I hope last week's correspondent doesn't wish that. I hope he's just taking a verse out of context. Let's take a look at Verse 16 to see why the Psalmist resents his enemy: "because he remembered not to show mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man." Sounds more like the Republicans to me!
Speaking of which, after the Republicans' miserable failure of 2001-2009, many people, frustrated by the slow economic recovery and nervous about change, are actually favorable toward giving them another chance. There's a Scriptural quote for those people: Proverbs 26:11. You can look it up.
Stephen Van Eck
The Easter Pageant
We need you! We still need wonderful people, like yourself, to help out with the Easter Pageant! It will be held on April 2, 7:00 p.m., at the Locust Hill Bible church. If you are not able to help out we would still love to see you there. This performance is open to everyone! So come one, come all, come short, come tall. If you need directions, can help, or if you have any questions please call us at (607) 331-5301 and ask for Patrick or Tim. We look forward to speaking with you.
Holy Feast Of Christians
April 4 is Easter - the highest holy feast of Christians. I would like to invite all Christians to come home for Easter. Life is becoming so fast paced that many of us simply feel we do not have the time to become involved in a church. But we must remember the biblical admonition, "what does it profit a man if he gain the whole world, but loses his immortal soul?"
Catholics are asked to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Eucharist at least once a year - preferably during the Easter season. The terrible scandals in all of the churches today are only an excuse to pardon ourselves from our obligations to offer through the holy Mass, the sacrifice made by His son to the Father. As Christ Himself asked us, "what more could I have done for you?" There is a joint Reconciliation service at St. Lawrence Church for the cluster of St. Lawrence, St. John and St. Martin of Tours on Tuesday, March 23 at 7:00 p.m. Confessions are also heard each Saturday at all three churches 45 minutes prior to Saturday vigil Mass. There will be no confessions on Holy Saturday.
By Any Means Necessary
Nancy Pelosi has declared that the healthcare bill will be passed by Congress “by any means necessary.” I don’t know about you, but I think that statement pretty well rules out what Abraham Lincoln said in the Gettysburg Address. Quote: “we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Wow! Have we come a long way. I find that Pelosi’s statement falls short of Lincoln’s in all respects. This Congress and this Administration, by virtue of the trust, naivety and complacency of the Electorate, has found themselves in the unique position of being able to force their agenda of government power and control upon the people. If it were not for our strong history of respect for the law, this crowd would already be swinging from the stout oak trees standing on the edges of the Capital Mall, having been convicted of Treason by their own hand. Upon taking office, each and every one of them took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. Transforming the United States into a Socialist country, or worse, “by any means necessary” fits my description of Treason.
Law abiding citizens will loudly protest this treason, by assembly, by blogs, by emails, by letters, by town hall meetings and by phone calls. I fully expect that Pelosi, Obama and Reid will, “by any means necessary,” find some dubious, inappropriate path to passage (this letter was written on March 18). Abiding by the rule of law, we will have to wait until November to set a new course. We may actually come out of this far stronger than imaginable. Creeping Progressivism has been coming on for a long time. This travesty may just be the catalyst for a return to the Founding Principles of our Republic. However, if the Siren’s song (the false promises of a welfare state) is the choice of the people, then I fear that we are doomed and our children will curse us in death. Don’t let that happen - vote out every Traitor who votes for this healthcare abomination, whether it passes or not. Let us have our own “new birth of freedom” in November.
I do believe that our healthcare system needs fixing - but not as a vehicle to insert government into every aspect of our life.
Elk Lake, PA
The Empty Tomb: Part I
The Easter story begins 1,900 years before the birth of Christ. Four men and a donkey reach the end of their three-day journey. It is the top of a nondescript, mountainous ridge. The party is led by a very old man; his teenage son is by his side. Following them are two men and a donkey loaded with wood.
As they near the summit of the ridge the elderly man tells the two men to wait while he with his son leading the donkey proceed to the top. The elderly man, Abram, instructs his son, Isaac, to unload the wood from the donkey and prepare it for a burnt-offering sacrifice to God.
But Isaac is puzzled: “Father, where is the lamb to be sacrificed?” “God will provide the lamb, my son.” But to Isaac's astonishment, it is he who is the “lamb.” The young man could easily have resisted his father's will. He does not. Isaac allows himself to be bound. He stretches himself out on the wooden pyre obedient unto death.
Abram rises his knife, but at the last moment an angel stays his hand. Isaac is not to be killed. Nearby, Abram sees a ram caught in a thicket. The male sheep is the sacrifice provided by God not by Abram.
Centuries later, it is 29 AD. That mountainous ridge, now called Mount Moriah (meaning, “the Lord will provide”), had a trench quarried perpendicular through it to permit the construction of Jerusalem's wall. Three-quarters of the ridge is within the city's wall. On its highest point stands a magnificent temple built by Herod the Great.
The northern quarter of Mount Moriah has a thirty-foot escarpment created by the quarriers. Its face bears the eerie resemblance of a human skull. The Romans call it Golgotha, the Place of the Skull.
Golgotha is the ideal location for a Roman form of execution, crucifixion. It is near two major highways and, as the highest point on Mount Moriah, it is within sight of the occupants of Jerusalem, a highly visible deterrent to those who would transgress Roman law.
A Man, if we can call Him such, mercilessly scourged, is carrying what is called in the Greek Scriptures (i.e., the New Testament) a “stauros,” meaning a wooden stake or pole. As Isaac carried the wood, so this Man will carry the wooden pole to the Place of the Skull. It is the exact location where God had earlier provided His own sacrifice in place of Abram's offering.
Reaching the summit, the Victim willing stretches Himself out on the pole just as Isaac laid himself on the wood pile. Spikes are driven into His unresistant hands and feet. Not a sound passes from His lips. As Isaiah foresaw: “He opened not his mouth . . . as a sheep before her shearers is dumb” (53:7).
9 a.m., the time of the daily morning sacrifice, the One whom Pontius Pilate called “the King of the Jews” is nailed to the pole as Isaac was bound on the wooden pyre. But unlike Isaac, this Son will be sacrificed.
Together with Him, four others are also crucified, two thieves (Mat. 27:28) and two malefactors (Luke 23:32). Mathew writes that both the robbers reviled Him (27:44), while Luke records that only one of the malefactors “railed on Him” (23:29). Thus, there were five who were crucified on Mount Moriah that terrible day, not three.
3 p.m. The Christ has been on the stake for six hours. At this same time, one-third of a mile south on Mount Moriah's other peak, in Herod's temple, another sacrifice is about to be offered to God. The high priest is ready to slay the passover lamb.
This concludes Part I. Part II will continue with the passover picture-prophecy of the coming messiah, the entombment of the Messiah, and the empty tomb.
New Milford, PA
TO THE EDITOR POLICY
Thank you, Susquehanna County Transcript
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