Thursday, July 16, 2009

I fell three times at work, so when I arrived home, as soon as I let Kashi out, I collapsed on the couch for a nap. A five hour nap.

Bettina arrives tomorrow for a visit. She tells me not to worry about my dirty home and empty refrigerator, but I do regret that I am more inclined to go back to bed than to make any genuine effort to prepare for her arrival. So low am I that I even asked her to bring toilet paper since she was making a trip to Wal-Mart today! I wish I were a better host....

For a while now, I have literally been doing much of my boss's work, as well as that of the communications coordinator who left in April. Today, I learned that I will also be doing some of the work of the director of resident services. My boss's idea that she take over program design since it is not being done was translated into tasking me with researching the target population and drafting a framework for the program. I was so speechless at the assignment, that my boss kept asking me if I was okay. No, I am not okay! While my Ph.D. does make me a likely candidate for doing the work, I would like to do that which I was hired for and am still responsible for completing despite everything else, not more of that for which others are being paid. Today, it was difficult to turn the other cheek.

Then, I lost my temper with Dell and had to ask for forgiveness of a total stranger, who, of course, did not understand why I was apologizing. I had to have my hard drive replaced on my almost new GREEN laptop. They sent the wrong one two days in a row, trying my patience and resulting in great ire and much shedding of tears. [I HATE MS.] My warranty guarantees that I would have my computer repaired next business day, or in other words Monday. It took three additional business days to effect a repair. [Pastor D, note which word I used there.] I am lost without my laptop! Still, just because there was a significant bungling of service in this situation and even though my emotional filters have been shredded by MS, the technician who arrived to replace the hard drive without the hard drive in hand (he came back a few hours later instead of tomorrow as he first suggested) did not deserve the biting criticism I had to offer.

I am sure you will not think that this naturally follows, but I spent much of the day thinking about Sunday and being baptized. You see, I am the queen of compartmentalizing. One part of my brain can plow through my tasks, while another is worrying about tomorrow's doctor's appointment, and still another trying to understand how I feel about Pastor's offer. Yes, I am still giddy. [You can snicker; I don't blame you for even I do not recognize myself in such a state.] But I am also quite sober about the whole notion of being given the gift of this Sacrament.

So, when I awoke a while ago, I thought I would re-read the Large Catechism section on the Creed. While it is generally accepted that jumping straight to the end usually ruins the message, in this case it is my favorite part.

I have known the Creed even before God gave me the Holy Spirit to understand it. In fact, it is the oldest memory I have. The words have a familiarity that brings comfort in and of itself, so the fact that it is a part of the liturgy at Pastor's church is special to me. For all the cheese holes in my brain, it was not that hard for me to memorize it once more.

Then, of course, there is the message of the Creed. The breadth and depth of the work of God, of the Word, in our world summed so succinctly, yet one can spend a lifetime studying and still not comprehend the magnitude of these few lines.

But I digress.

The Apostle's Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.


These articles of the Creed, therefore, divide and separate us Christians from all other people on earth. (LC, Part 11, 66)

The whole world with all diligence has struggled to figure out what God is, what He has in mind and does. Yet the world has never been able to grasp the knowledge and understanding of any of these things. But here we have everything in richest measure. For here in all three articles God has revealed Himself and opened the deepest abyss of His fatherly heart and His pure, inexpressible love (Ephesians 3:18-19). He has created us for this very reason, that He might redeem and sanctify us. (LC, Part II, 63-64)

From this you see that the Creed is a doctrine quite different from the Ten Commandments. For the Commandments teach what we ought to do. But the Creed tells what God does for us and gives to us. Furthermore, apart from this, the Ten Commandments are written in all people's hearts (Romans 2:15). However, no human wisdom can understand the Creed. It must be taught by the Holy Spirit alone (I Corinthians 2:12). The teaching of the Commandments, therefore, makes no Christian. For God's wrath and displeasure abide upon us still, because we cannot keep what God demands of us. But the Creed brings pure grace and makes us godly and acceptable to God. (LC, Part II, 67-68)

Pure grace. Inexpressible love. Everything in richest measure. For us. For me. For you. All taught by the Holy Spirit because God wants us to know Him, to understand, to receive His gift of salvation.

The words of the Creed are not just words. They are the Word. They are life!

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