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Suppose North Korea develops a full blown case of cranial rectal insertion, and launches an attack against the South. What would be the proper course of action for the USA to take? This assumes of course, that our own leadership is competent.



Easter Sunday Sermon, 31 March 2013

By Rev. David Hartung

Isaiah 65:17-25


Grace Mercy and Peace be unto you, from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.


Here we are, on the Sunday of the Resurrection, celebrating once again our Lord’s victory over sin and death; what a wonderful day! The tomb is empty, our Lord has risen, our sins forgiven and eternal life accomplished. What a totally glorious day! But is that all there is? Is this day only about the salvation won for creation by Jesus’ death and resurrection?

In a word, yes. The events we have been remembering these past few days, along with the event of today, all happened for just one reason. Jesus allowed himself to be falsely accused and unjustly executed so that you and I would receive the gift of forgiveness, so that our sins, and the sins of the entire world would be wiped out.

What makes this so amazing is that this is something which God ha planned since Mankind was turned out of the garden, and we see this in today’s Old Testament lesson.

Normally when we speak of the Old Testament, one thing we point out is that it points us forward to the cross. Today’s lesson is just a little different. Yes it does point us to the cross, but it also points us beyond the cross to the results of the cross. Is that as clear as mud?

Let me see if I can make this a little clearer. Think back to what we learned about humanity in the first three chapters of Genesis. There Moses give us an account of creation, and tells us just how God spoke this entire marvelous universe into creation. We are told how Man was created and placed into the home God had created for him. Thus far everything was hunky dory. Adam and Eve were given dominion over the earth and the things in it, they never wanted for any of the things we toil and labor to get. There was always enough food, never a lack of water. They didn’t have to worry about anything.

Anything that is except one thing.

The only restriction, the one and only thing that God forbid man to do, was to eat of the fruit of the tree in the center of the garden. This tree was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The only rule given to man in creation, and we managed to break it. When we did that, our carefree, easy, idyllic way of life ended. When mankind disobeyed God and ate of the fruit, our face to face, one one personal relationship with our Creator ended. In short, that one act of disobedience changed all of creation.

Before the fall, all life lived together in harmony, after the fall there was the hunter and the hunted. Before the fall there was no such thing as famine, everyone and everything had plenty to eat. To be honest, I seriously doubt that any of us today can come close to accurately describing the world as it was before the fall; it is that far beyond our comprehension. Despite this wonderful life, despite the fact that there was truly only one rule given by God, we managed to break that one rule.

I don’t have to describe for you what creation is like now, we all live it. Even those of us who have lived lives of incredible blessing can not begin to understand what life was like before the fall.

It is this life that Isaiah is trying to describe in his words. In today’s lesson, Isaiah is trying to paint a word picture of what live is going to be like once the promised Messiah has done his work. In this sense, Isaiah is not just pointing the people forward to the cross, but he is actually pointing past the cross to the time when God will once again bring back the garden, and when all of us will live with him eternally. This text is an amazing description, but I have news for all of us here this morning. As good a job as Isaiah has done, he still is not reflecting the true glory of what our life will be like. Because we still deal daily with sin, we still are incapable of comprehending the life to come.

Yes today is a day of celebration, but at some point we all ask the question: “What happens next?”

The resurrection was two thousand years ago, when will we enter the end times and when will Jesus come back to claim his church, and begin his kingdom? When will the Kingdom of God begin?

What happens next is Simple. You and I live the lives to which we are called as God’s children, working in the vocations we have been given. Yes, life as God’s children really is that simple. We serve God and we advance the Gospel by living and working in our vocations. Just as God has always done, when he deems the time to be right, he will return. This time he will not return as a babe in a manger, but he will return in glory, proclaiming his kingdom and calling his people to him. Just as with his earthly incarnation as the Son, we are not given to know when that will be. What we do have is his word which tells us that he will return. That is truly all we need.

One of the things we see around us is people trying to figure out when the end times will come. These well meaning folks will scour God’s word looking for clues to figure out when Christ will return. Every generation has done this for most of the last two thousand years. As understandable as this is, there are two problems with such study.

First, Jesus himself has told us (Matthew 25:13) that we will not know when he will return. If none other than the Son of God has told his children that we will know know, why should we waste time trying to figure it out? Yes it is human nature to do these things, but might I suggest that our time is better spent living as his children? Is that not the best possible preparation for Christ’s return? This seems simple, and when pointed out, most folks have no problem understanding it. There is something else that is much more challenging to understand.

You see, we are already living in the end times. Yes, we are now living in those times spoken of by John in the Revelation. Those “end times” began on Good Friday when Jesus allowed himself to be nailed to the cross. They will continue until the day that our Lord returns, and as Jesus has told us, we will not know when that will be. Once again, for this reason we live as if his return is immanent.

Isaiah has given us a picture of the world to come. As his children we already have a home in that world, and we already live in his kingdom. That is our great blessing. Even here on Earth, even though we still inhabit our sinful bodies and daily fight the battle against evil, we are a part of God’s kingdom. Through the events we commemorate and celebrate this weekend, we do have full assurance that we are God’s forgiven, redeemed children. We can be sure that we now live in his kingdom, and when he calls us out of this world, we will simply transfer our membership from the Church Militant, to the Church Triumphant!


May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.





This&#160 is why I fucking follow football.

The best Triple-A team in the major leagues just handed an 8-2 crushing to a franchise that was supposed&#160 to maybe – just maybe! – contend for the World Series this year.

You would think&#160 that, after last year’s pathetic-assed chokejob, general manager/El Grande Presidente&#160 Jon Daniels, boy wunderkind, would get up off his ass and actually, y’know improve the ballclub.

Aw, but hell no!&#160 This supposed genius&#160 did nothing but lose several front line players (granted one of them was Josh “Quitter” Hamilton, but still), sign two aging, probably-done veterans, and do exactly fuckin’ dick&#160 in upgrading the pitching staff.

And then little Ronnie Warshington (yeah, I called him Warshington – don’t like it, come tell me to my face, pussies) ONCE AGAIN&#160 shows his ass in trying to, y’know, manage&#160 the fucking thing.

It’s a damned good thing there was an NCIS marathon going opposite on USA, else this rant would be a lot&#160 more vitrolic.

The only other good thing about this is that I can at least ignore competition sports for the next five months or so, until football comes back.

Fucking bastard-assed excuse-for-a-baseball-franchise…&#160


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