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Archive for April, 2010

St. Mark – Homily

Sermon by Rev. Christian C. Tiews, 04/26/2010

Festival of St. Mark

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Rev. Mason T. Beecroft, 04/25/2010

Childbirth in our modern time is not quite what it used to be. Advances in medical technology have helped to alleviate pain and to reduce death rates for both mother and child. Yet modern anesthesia has only been used for the past 150 years. In Ancient Rome, women were given a drink made from powdered sow’s dung to relieve pain. In medieval Europe, women would be whipped to accelerate their labor. If the woman was affluent, then her servants would be whipped. In the 1800s, it is estimated that 40 percent of women in certain maternity institutions died in childbirth. Childbirth prior to our modern era was an encounter with death, filled with uncertainty. While childbirth still involves pain, difficulty, and danger, it is far safer now than for previous generations. Martin Luther, commenting on Jesus’ illustration in the Gospel, stated, “For her the hour of endurance is now at hand. No one can say whether she will recover or die. All is anguish and anxiety, with no foreseeable end. But everything is concentrated on the moment when the child is born into the world. In that moment the anguish is immediately forgotten because of the happy sight of the newborn child,” Luther continues, “A change like this is also experienced here in this Christian life. Sadness will not last forever; it will turn into joy. Otherwise our condition would be hopeless and helpless.” (LW 24:382)

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Rev. Mason T. Beecroft, 04/18/2010

In our service for Morning Prayer, we sing a canticle known as the Venite, which is from Psalm 140. In this song of the church, the Psalmist reminds us that we are the “people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.” In Holy Baptism, we were made children of the Heavenly Father as the Holy Spirit created faith in our hearts and joined us to Jesus’ death and resurrection. As such, we belong to God through Christ by the Spirit. We are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.” On this Sunday, traditionally known as Misericordias Domini, meaning the “mercies of the Lord,” we give thanks that the Risen Christ has made us His own in Holy Baptism. We praise our God for pouring out His mercy to us in Christ. We also are thankful that Christ is our Good Shepherd, and that are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.”

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Playing God

Sermon by Rev. Christian C. Tiews, 04/11/2010

“Then He said to Ezekiel, ‘Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD’” (Eze 37:4).

The doors to the operating room opened and Pete was promptly rolled in.

Over a dozen doctors and staff were already waiting for him.

Working quickly yet routinely, within a few minutes the surgeons had gained access to Pete’s major blood vessels.

As they were going about their task, the patient’s body temperature was lowered from what only that morning had been 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit—normal body temperature—to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

This process permitted the doctors to stop Pete’s blood circulation without harming his brain.

Next, the patient was connected to a perfusion machine, replacing Pete’s blood with a chemical solution to prevent ice from forming in his body.

The surgeons then hooked Pete up to a heart-lung machine and gradually pumped a cryoprotectant solution into his body.

He was then transferred from the operating room to the cool-down facility, where he was chilled to minus 202 degrees Fahrenheit.

After the four-hour procedure, technicians placed Pete in an upright aluminum cylinder, immersing him in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of minus 320 degrees.

Pete was now in what is known as “cryonic suspension.”

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