Friday, June 01, 2007

"A Tale of Two Oh!s" or "TGIG!"

I just made the long commute from church to the Presbytère (the Hollywood Rectory) - a three minute trek on foot. Having wearily wiped the blazing Louisiana sun from my presbyterial brow (I love the smell of hyperbole in the cool of the afternoon), I espied a glimpse of a heavy-laden mailbox. What could this be? Perhaps a care-package from my father who has been helping me re-establish my ham radio station (today is Day One of Hurricane Season, after all)? Maybe a book that I've ordered from Amazon and forgotten about (which is always a treat)? Might could be (which is, O Purist, a proper Southern verbal construction) a package ordered by Mrs. Hollywood?

So, with a newfound vigor, I bound up the steps to the porch and make a lunge for it. And what, pray tell, do I see? A shrink-wrapped bundle of Teutonically stiff papers with the LCMS Corporate Logo(tm) emblazoned in its nausea-inducing purple-and-pink glory on the front. According to the verbiage on the cover, it is the "Biographical Synopses & Statements of Nominees Submitted by Committee for Convention Nominations 2007." As if I'm going to interrupt my summer reading of Augustine's City of God to slog through several hundred pages of mind-and-soul-numbing bureaucracy.

"Oh crap!" I exclaim out loud, crestfallen (and please, dear reader, don't ask Fr. Hollywood to make a grammatical clarification as to whether or not the above sentence is proscriptive, descriptive, or merely interjectory).

I begin to shrink faster than Governor Blanco's approval rating.

However, like (hopefully) some Lutheran sermons, this little tale doesn't end on a downer, but makes the shift from Law to Gospel. For the Good News, by the grace of our benevolent, blessed Lord (who is not only merciful beyond measure, but who also bears a sense of humor), is that another package emerged underneath the one that elicited the excretory exclamation. In fact, within less than one second, my sighing "Oh crap!" was turned into a singing "Oh yeah!" The two outbursts were literally uttered in the same breath. What could more precisely embody the Christian life than that juxtaposition of interjections?

With King David and our blessed Lord, I could now proclaim in full Gregorian goodness: "Convertísti planctum meum in gáudium mihi" (Ps 30:11).

This Gospel came in the form of my latest issue of Gottesdienst. It arrived in a weightier package than usual, as I've recently upgraded to a bulk subscription of ten - so as to make them available in the narthex of our church. Gottesdienst is a journal that champions solid, traditionalist theology within the Confession of Augsburg - especially pertaining to the sacred liturgy of the Church catholic.

And, to my delight, further confirming the divine sense of humor, the back page of the current issue (Trinity 2007) of Gottesdienst is a tongue-in-cheek account of the "LCMS Convention Procedings for the Year 2025."

Indeed, the Lord laughs at the folly of men (Ps 2:4).

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing!" (Ps 30:11, as rendered by the NKJV in the secular English as opposed to the heavenly Latin). Or, if you prefer, you could sing the refrain from the Hymnal Supplement 98's version of Psalm 30 at the risk of getting the "And like a good neighbor, State Farm is there" jingle stuck in your head for the next three hours - the choice is yours...

Anyway, if you still aren't getting Gottesdienst, what are you waiting for? This solidly Lutheran(and very reasonably-priced) publication is by far a more valuable use of your time than poring over, shall we say, other kinds of mail that you will receive.

Oh yeah! TGIG: Thank God it's Gottesdienst!


Chris T. said...

Surely you could have given us the Coverdale version of Ps 30 if you're going to stoop so low as to quote it in English! :-P

Father Hollywood said...

Indeed! Mea culpa. I left my '28 BCP at church. Just don't tell Latif Gaba - or I'll be in big trouble!

Rosko said...

I'm getting my Ham Radio station set up these days too. Hopefully I can save up for an HF rig, and then I'll be set, unless I upgrade from General to Extra. What do you think of them dropping the Code requirement?

Father Hollywood said...


I'm a traditionalist. Changing morse code from a "shall" to a "may" rubric is like getting rid of incense. There must have been a lot of "us" sending letters to the FCC, since it takes a Lutheran to turn Christian liberty against all that is just, good, and holy. ;-)

I'm getting close to being on the air again. I used money from the sale of our house to buy an ICOM 706 - especially given my tight quarters and need to go completely mobile for evacuation or emergency communications. My dad has been helping get going again (I feel like Rip Van Winkle - as the technology is simply mind-boggling in comparison to 25 years ago).

I now have a power supply, antenna tuner, and rig. Other than a few odds and ends, I just need to get an antenna and put it up (my house is perfect for a dipole on the roof), run cables, get my power supply hooked up, and I should be operating again.

I spent many, many hours in the radio shack as a kid communicating (usually by morse code) to people from every dark corner of the planet. But I have been inactive since moving out of my dad's home. In order to help get back up to speed, I joined the local radio club and will be taking part with them in Field Day this year (which to non-ham readers is an exercise to prepare for emergency communications in case of a disaster).

Let me know when you're on the air, and we'll have a QSO.

--... ...-- . -

.--. .- -..-


Rosko said...

Sounds good. I can't figure out why blogger sometimes puts in my nickname "rosko" and sometimes my real name "Harry W. Reineke IV". Grr. Either way, it is still me. I have a dualband U/VHF for my SUV and an HT. Both are 144/440 MHz. When I move at the end of the summer, I'll have room to save up for more equipment inside. Looking forward to a QSO.

--... ...-- -.. .
-.- -.. ..... - -- ..-