Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Michaelmas is Here

If you'd like to celebrate this feast, come to St. Timothy's Anglican Church in Elizabethtown, KY on Sunday, 9/29! We will celebrate Holy Communion together, and then partake of a brief desert reception before our Christian Education time
On the Feast of Michael and all Angels, popularly called Michaelmas, we give thanks for the many ways in which God's loving care watches over us, both directly and indirectly, and we are reminded that the richness and variety of God's creation far exceeds our knowledge of it.
The Holy Scriptures often speak of created intelligences other than humans who worship God in heaven and act as His messengers and agents on earth. We are not told much about them, and it is not clear how much of what we are told is figurative. Jesus speaks of them as rejoicing over penitent sinners (Lk 15:10). Elsewhere, in a statement that has been variously understood (Mt 18:10), He warns against misleading a child, because their angels behold the face of God. (Acts 12:15 may refer to a related idea.)
In the Hebrew Scriptures, it is occasionally reported that someone saw a man who spoke to him with authority, and who he then realized was no mere man, but a messenger of God. Thus we have a belief in super-human rational created beings, either resembling men in appearance or taking human appearance when they are to communicate with us. They are referred to as "messengers of God," or simply as "messengers." The word for a messenger in Hebrew is MALACH, in Greek, ANGELOS, from which we get our word "angel" [ Digression: ANGELION means "message, news" and EUANGELION means "good news = goodspell = gospel," from which we get our word "evangelist" used to mean a preacher of the Good News of salvation, and, more narrowly, one of the four Gospel-writers: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.]
By the time of Christ, Jewish popular belief included many specifics about angels, with names for many of them. There were thought to be four archangels, named Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel. An alternative tradition has seven archangels (see Tobit 12:15 and 1 Enoch 20). Sometimes each archangel is associated with one of the seven planets of the Ptolemaic system (the moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn). Michael is associated with Saturn and Uriel with the Sun. The other pairings I forget, but I believe that you will find a list in the long narrative poem called "The Golden Legend," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. (I believe that a pairing is also offered in the opening chapters of the Proof of The Apostolic Preaching, by Irenaeus of Lyons, but I have not the work at hand.)
Michael (the name means "Who is like God?") is said to be the captain of the heavenly armies. He is mentioned in the Scriptures in Daniel 10:13,31; 12:1 (where he is said to be the prince of the people of Israel); in Jude 9 (where he is said to have disputed with the devil about the body of Moses); and in Revelation 12:7 (where he is said to have led the heavenly armies against those of the great dragon). In iconography, he is generally pictured in full armor, carrying a lance, and with his foot on the neck of a dragon. Oftentimes, his lance pierces the mouth of the serpent, as this demonstrates the power of truth to conquer the Father of Lies. (Pictures of the Martyr George are often similar, but only Michael has wings.)
Gabriel (the name means "God is my champion") is thought of as the special bearer of messages from God to men. He appears in Daniel 8:16; 9:21 as an explainer of some of Daniel's visions. According to the first chapter of Luke, he announced the forthcoming births of John the Baptist and of our Lord to Zachariah and the Virgin Mary respectively.
Raphael (the name means "God heals") is mentioned in the Apocrypha, in the book of Tobit, where, disguised as a man, he accompanies the young man Tobias on a quest, enables him to accomplish it, and gives him a remedy for the blindness of his aged father.
Uriel (the name means "God is my light" -- compare with "Uriah", which means "the LORD is my light") is mentioned in 4 Esdras.
It is thought by many scholars that the seven lamps of Revelation 4:5 are an image suggested by (among many other things) the idea of seven archangels.

What is the value to us of remembering the Holy Angels? Well, since they appear to excel us in both knowledge and power, they remind us that, even among created things, we humans are not the top of the heap. Since it is the common belief that demons are angels who have chosen to disobey God and to be His enemies rather than His willing servants, they remind us that the higher we are the lower we can fall. The greater our natural gifts and talents, the greater the damage if we turn them to bad ends. The more we have been given, the more will be expected of us. And, in the picture of God sending His angels to help and defend us, we are reminded that apparently God, instead of doing good things directly, often prefers to do them through His willing servants, enabling those who have accepted His love to show their love for one another.
Coelites Plaudant - 5 verses, C
Found at bee mp3 search engine

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Universal Abortion Background Check

On February 1st the president's executive orders go into effect, assuring all citizens are safe from the dangers of unregulated abortions.

All women who desire an abortion will be entered into a national registry. The government has decided that women will only be allowed to have one abortion per year, and no more than seven in a lifetime. “Women have a right to choose in the constitution...er...somewhere, but we do need to make sure they know that their government is best at distributing those rights.”

All women who wish to have an abortion must produce references from a close friend or relative who will certify their need for abortion is absolutely necessary. “We support a woman’s right to choose” said Christian Coalition President Roberta Combs, “but think these regulations are necessary to protect the public from the violence associated with unrestricted access to abortions.”

Those seeking abortion must now undergo a background check, where financial records will be obtained to determine whether she can truly support a child. Those found able to do so will not be allowed to terminate the life of another human being. (Tip from Planned Parenthood: Leave the iPhone at home when pleading economic hardship!)

Further, if the background check reveals mental illness or demonstrates reasonable doubt as to the carefulness with which the woman is exercising her reproductive rights, the decision to abort will be placed in the hands of an arbitrator.  “While due regard must be maintained for a woman's privacy, stemming human-on-human violence for the public good outweighs the risks,” said legislators.

There will be mandatory counseling from an authorized counselor, psychiatrist, or clergyperson coupled with a three day “cooling off” waiting period.

Small rural clinics will be replaced with satellite abortion operating rooms attached to major hospitals in large cities where federally licensed and properly supervised abortion providers will ensure documentary compliance.

In attempt to close the “private practice loophole” only federally licensed abortion providers will be able to prescribe Mifepristone (RU-486, aka “the morning after pill”).

No one under the age of eighteen will be allowed to have an abortion without the supervision of their parents.

Finally, all non-medically necessary abortions must take place within the first trimester. “No one really needs more than three months to decide on something like taking a human life. High Capacity Waiting Periods - those consisting of more than three months for choosing termination - are really only needed by medical professionals and law enforcement agencies...and eugenicists,” quipped someone in a rather dashing vest.

Abortion Extremist™ Terry O'Neil, President of The National Organization For Women (NOW) disagrees. “These regulations are nothing more than a draconian curtailment of the God given freedoms that established this country and made it the beacon of hope it has become for people around the world. We will fight this by any means necessary.”

Further legislation will seek to reinstate and strengthen the late-term abortion ban; give law enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute unlawful abortions; and end the media silence on abortion violence research.