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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Harrison's YouTube video – Pieper, Easter - transcription (Part 2)

In Part 1, I introduced this video.  But I am still struck by it's beauty.  And because of this beauty, I am including a transcription of the entire video.  I'm doing this here, even though you can get it on the video via the "Interactive Transcript" button on the YouTube page.  The reason for this is that it is so beautiful and I wanted to include hyperlinks to Pieper's book passages and other relevant information.  I will likely also use this material in future comments on President Harrison.

Transcription of Harrison Video "Blessed Easter"

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(scene opens with President Harrison in front of church building)

Hi, I'm Matt Harrison, President of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.  Blessed Easter to all of you. 

St. Paul wrote in Romans chapter 4 (Romans 4:25): "Jesus Christ was put to death for our transgressions and raised for our justification."

We are here deep in the heart of north St. Louis, in a rather challenged neighborhood, to visit one of my favorite spots in St. Louis Lutheranism.  This is Immanuel Lutheran Church, founded in 1847, the same year as the synod.  It was a bunch of people that broke off from Dr. Walther's church, old Trinity, to move a church up here.

    (scene moves to showing detail of mosaic above church entrance doors.)

One thing I really like about Immanuel is this fantastic mosaic.  There's Christ, the pantocrater, the risen Christ, ruling through all eternity.  The orb of the world firmly in his left hand, the blessing – the right hand – lifted, ready to bless with forgiveness and life.  The cherubs on either side worshiping him, the Alpha and Omega, the eternal one – a glorious depiction of the Christ indeed.  But in this life, we don't always see the glory.  In fact we won't until the last day.

(scene moves to church cemetery)

Tragically, Immanuel Lutheran Church, the 2nd oldest Lutheran Church west of the Mississippi, left the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod in the terrible and tumultuous times of the 1970s.  This old disheveled cemetery and Immanuel behind me, remind me that in this life, the glorious resurrected Christ, his Church is hidden under difficulties, crosses, trials and divisions. And nevertheless, He is the resurrected one.  He is risen.  And because He is risen, our sins are forgiven.

(Harrison turns to reading from Pieper's Christian Dogmatics book)

There's a beautiful passage, several of them, in Francis Pieper's doctrinal text – it's Franz Pieper's Christian Dogmatics.  Every Missouri Synod pastor has studied this text for his basic Christian doctrine.  Pieper says of the resurrected body that (1 Cor. 15:44, Phil. 3:21, Matt. 13:43) "we, like Christ, will have perfect immortality, strength and beauty because sin, the sole cause of decay, weakness, and ugliness is completely done away with."  First Corinthians 15 (1 Cor. 15:42-43), "It is sown in corruption, It is raised in incorruption.  It is sown in dishonor.  It is raised in glory.  It is sown in weakness.  It is raised in power."  The language of heaven will be celestial tongue, once heard by the apostle Paul in paradise, the like of which earth does not know. (2 Cor. 12:4)  [See copy of passage here, Christian Dogmatics, vol. 3, page 552]

And finally, on just about the last page [page 555, the last page] of his great doctrinal text, Dr. Pieper says "the gospel of the crucified Christ has never been popular with the world.  It's always been this way and will continue to be this way till the end of time.  It is a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Greeks." (1 Corinthians 1:23). "However, Christians do not grow faint but rise above all these tribulations.  In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." If they do not take their eyes off the heavenly inheritance but follow the example of the apostle who says (2 Timothy 1:12): "I am not ashamed for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him until the last day."

Blessed Easter to all of you.  A blessed Easter knowing that Christ is the God of the living and of the dead and a resurrection is coming...

(camera focuses on Pieper's headstone and inscription at the base...)

...and blessed Easter to you, Dr. Pieper.

(camera focuses on headstone inscription "F. Pieper, 1852 — 1931")
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Probably due to the small size of some of the inscription on Pieper's headstone, not all of it could be read in the video.  It can be read in my picture on my blog post by clicking on it to expand it.  It reads:
Erected to the memory of the President of Concordia Seminary by Grateful Students

So many things go through my mind with President Harrison now... would to God that he would continue on this path.  But the signs are not good today......   but that is for a later blog post.

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