My temporary American Idol insanity too often keeps me from reading blogs of substance, like Dr. Veith's Cranach blog or the latest Lutheran Carnival (let alone submitting posts to it). On Monday of this week, Dr. Veith wrote:
Peter 2: 1-3 (NIV)Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
"I hope you had a happy Quasimodogeniti yesterday. I couldn't find any Quasimodogeniti cards at the Hallmark store, nor did I do any Quasimodogeniti shopping. Sorry--I just love that word, which refers to the first Sunday after Easter. It's not named after the Hunchback of Notre Dame; rather, that unfortunate fellow was named after the day. Nor is it a holiday, as such. The word comes from the first words in the Introit that begins the service in the classic liturgy for that day. In Latin, they are "Quasi modo geniti," which in English comes to "Like new born." The entire sentence is "Like newborn babes desire the pure milk of the Word." Like much of the liturgy, it's words from the Bible, in this case 1 Peter 2:2. That's good advice for the whole year. We need to turn this into a bona fide holiday. I suppose we could observe Quasimodogeniti by drinking milk. We could get the Wisconsin Dairy Council to help promote it. But for the true meaning of the day, we should also do some serious Bible reading." ~Dr. Gene Edward Veith, Jr.
Consider this an appropriate introduction to the most recent edition of the Lutheran Carnival, which I have also neglected during the American Idol season. There are some new faces in this 22nd edition of the carnival and a nice tie-in to Quasimodogeniti. Pastor Snyder at Ask the Pastor is the host and he opens the carnival with this:
Quasimodogeniti, the Second Sunday of Easter’s “week of weeks” brings the twenty-second installment of the Lutheran Carnival to light. Pastor David Petersen provides a quick summary of “Hunchback Sunday” at CyberStones (and don’t forget to read the comment cum literary critique).
The antiphon of today’s introit comes from 1 Peter 2:2-3. “Like newborn babes,” saith the King James Version, upon which many of us were nourished in our youth — that certainly provides a carnival theme with promise. Yet what if some readers aren’t thrilled with babies? Or, if they’ve been drinking the “pure spiritual milk,” perhaps they’re ready for some meat (see Hebrews 5:12-14) — or not (see 1 Corinthians 3:1-3).
Well, I then thought, since this is Carnival-22, how about a Joseph Heller theme, reminiscent of his classic novel Catch-22? I gave it some thought, but decided to pass. Certainly Heller understood paradox and irony, two major literary types used in Holy Scripture. However, Catch-22 never comes to a resolution. Certainly our ongoing celebration of Easter provides ample reminder that Christ provided complete resolution of our alienation from God in His suffering, death, and glorious resurrection.
Finally, I decided to fall back on the Lutheran Carnival’s regular feature, the introduction to relatively unknown Lutherans. Therefore, I’d like to take a moment to tell you about a child born upon the Ides of March in the Year of Our Lord 1992. Read on...