There are a number of fascinating things about the Basilica of San Frediano in Lucca, Italy, but what really caught my eye was the baptismal font.
We sometimes speak of holding Law and Gospel in tension or balance, but we do well to remember that they are not even. Each has its own place and purpose. They should be rightly distinguished and applied, but this doesn’t always mean that they will be evenly distributed.
A happy, terrible act is Baptism — a rebirth of life and, at the same time, a drowning and death. We see this contrast in Romans: “We were buried therefore with [Christ] by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”
If you’re looking for some spiritual significance to the total eclipse, why speculate? Rather than guess that it’s a harbinger of the future apocalypse, look back instead to the cross. Let it remind you of the Lord’s death for you, when even creation convulsed as the Creator suffered for your sins.
America’s founding fathers believed that the “pursuit of happiness” was an inalienable right, and most people today certainly think that they deserve to be happy. But what happens when we face unhappiness? How does God’s word comfort us then?