simply, Christian

a prayer for a new year

[Since the collect for the 2nd Sunday in Christmas is the same as the prior week, I'm going to offer here a prayer from the new year from the pen of Johann Friedrich Starck, a Lutheran pastor in Germany in the first half of the eighteenth century. May it prompt you to prayerfully consider God's great mercy and care of us all in 2021.] . . .

Read More

Posted in: prayer

January 03, 2021

a prayer on New Year's eve

Silvrback blog image

Last year, we rang in the new year with a small town dance at the American Legion. The hall was packed with people as music and laughter filled the air with the traditional spirit of New Year's reverie. This New Year's eve will be more sober, as we plan to sit around a fire ring with a very small number of close friends, . . .

Read More

Posted in: prayer

December 31, 2020

Sunday after Christmas (2020)

contemplating collects

Silvrback blog image

ALMIGHTY and Everlasting God, direct our actions according to Thy good pleasure, that in the Name of Thy beloved Son, we may be made to abound in good works; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

-- Common Service Book . . .

Read More

Posted in: collects

December 27, 2020

Christmas Day (2020)

contemplating collects

Silvrback blog image

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that the new Birth of Thine Only-begotten Son in the flesh may set us free who are held in the old bondage under the yoke of sin; through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.

-- . . .

Read More

Posted in: adventcollects

December 25, 2020

the Nativity of our Lord (2020)

contemplating collects

Silvrback blog image

O God, Who hast made this most holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant, we beseech Thee, that as we have known on earth the mysteries of that Light, we may also come to the fullness of His joys in heaven; Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.

. . .

Read More

Posted in: adventcollects

December 24, 2020

why, yes, Mary did know

a lighthearted take on a dreadful song

If you're a big fan of the song, "Mary, did you know?" you may want to just skip this post. It's completely okay. I promise.

And now for something a little lighthearted...

The Christmas song, "Mary, did you know?" emerged in the early 90s and quickly became the bane of the entire Christmas season . . .

Read More

Posted in: advent

December 23, 2020

"Is Christmas a Pagan Rip-off?" (link)

the truth about December 25th

By Kevin DeYoung at The Gospel Coalition:

We’ve heard it so many times that it’s practically part of the Christmas story itself.

The Romans celebrated their seven-day winter festival, Saturnalia, starting on December 17. It was a thoroughly pagan affair full of debauchery and the worship of the god Saturn. To mark the . . .

Read More

December 22, 2020

Archive