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963Jon Kennedy's latest report from Belfast

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  • Jon Kennedy
    Jan 4, 2014

      Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
      his soj
      ourn in Northern Ireland'
      My Google+ diary and Belfast blog

      Jon Kennedy        
      Today's Scripture: . . . the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth. Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion:
      God was manifested in the flesh,
      justified in the Spirit,
      seen by angels,
      preached among the nations,
      believed on in the world,
      taken up in glory.
      Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, through the pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving; for then it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
      From St. Paul's first letter to Timothy, chapter 3,
      from today's Orthodox lectionary readings.
      See the homiletical thought below.
      Today's diary
      Bill McKnight offered me a ride to Cafe Wah this morning and we shared a coffee break. It was raining when we arrived, but now it's a bright and sunny day (but don't expect me to revise this post when that changes!). Flooding was reported in some parts of the Lagan Valley yesterday afternoon, though I didn't see any of it, even when I was doing my hour of prayer at the Dock.
      Today's Christmas fare
      On the 11th day of Christmas, how much "Christmas feeling" do you have left? Maybe this will help.
      It was not until the latter years of his career that I became a fan of my fellow western Pennsylvania native, Perry Como, and now I think no one was better on songs like this. His big hits ("Round and Round," "Hot Digity," "Catch A Falling Star") always struck me as embarrassingly corny for rock 'n' roll hipsters like me. But toward the end his only TV appearances were on annual Christmas specials, and I got the impression then that he was a genuine believer, which led me to believe in him.
      Today's quotes
      Consumer Christianity
      Was it a good service? Did you enjoy the Liturgy? How was Church today? These are not uncommon questions—but they are profoundly inappropriate.
      Worship is communion, not consumption. The virtues required by Paradise do not include the ability to be entertained. But the consumer Christian has been shaped for entertainment. It is not entirely his fault—consumerism is the hallmark of our culture. The economy needs for us to consume. Christianity that serves the culture, in our present context, does not serve the gospel. To market the faith to be consumed is like giving drugs to an addict. Of course the addict likes the drugs. Of course the drugs appeal to him—he’s an addict!
      It is a great irony that consumer Christianity offers death that is perceived to be life. While classical Christianity offers life that is clearly labeled as death. If you want to be saved, you’ll have to die. You will have to die to your desires and the passions through which you consume.
      — Fr. Stephen Freeman
      Let your broken heart create an open heart. — Rick Warren
      Hating occupies part of your mind. If you hate this guy or that guy every day they are renting space in your head and not even paying for it. It hurts you more than it hurts them because you can think of them all day and send daggers through the air and they're not even aware of it. It's you that's hurting yourself.
      — James Galway, world's most famous
      flautist and Protestant-raised native of Belfast,
      quoted by Martin Fletcher in Silver Linings
      Aslan's instructions always work: there are no exceptions.
      — C.S. Lewis
      Homiletical thought: When I was a Protestant, I never noticed that here Paul expressly says that the church is the pillar and bulwark of the faith. I had been taught that the Scriptures constitute the foundation and skeletal structure of the faith and that the Bible was all we needed. But of course the Scriptures have to be interpreted, and the church is the only agency assigned that task. It has no higher calling than that ministry.
      This passage has a confession of faith or creedal summary that is in poetic form in this translation. The paragraph after the creed predicts or prophesies that many will be seduced and follow false doctrines. This explains the proliferation of denominations, one of which has more strange interpretations than the next.
      §     §     §
      Unless specified otherwise, none of the message memes used in this blog are the creation or property of the author, but are reposted here from the social networks.
      Please leave comments on my Facebook or Google+ page.
      § I have now uploaded over 2,700 photos and videos, mostly from my current visit to Northern Ireland, but also including several hundred photos and videos from my summer in Pennsylvania (2012), and some photos of the family, on my Flickr site. Most of these are now organized by sets. Click here for the Flicker site.
      For more and more spontaneous posts, follow me onand (click on either icon to go to the site).
      Google+ works more automatically, so most of the pictures I post (excluding Flickr) are posted there. Feedback: Please comment on anything in today's blog on the Facebook and Google+ pages linked above, and of course via email to jrk@....
      Feedback is always welcome.
      §     §     §
      Please pray for my mission to Northern Ireland. You can read my background overview of this undertaking here. My residence/postal address is 227 Crumlin Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland BT14 7DY, UK. Mobile: 44 7455 980890.

      related pages

      The Nanty Glo Home Page


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      Suitable letters to the Home Page will be considered for publication in the Forum department unless they are specifically labeled "Not for Publication."

      Jon Kennedy's recent book,
      C.S. Lewis Themes and Threads, is available for purchase at $2.99. Purchase supports the author'
      s mission to Belfast, Ireland. Click here to download it directly to your Kindle or your Kindle bookshelf on your PC or smartphone.
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      © 2013 JRK

      Jon R. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis Writer in Residence

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