Thank You For Visiting This Weblog   Leave a comment

lenten-altar

Above:  A High Altar During Lent

Image in the Public Domain

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The proposed Year D of the Revised Common Lectionary has guided me through the new set of devotions for Lent and Easter.  This plan by Timothy Matthew Slemmons has managed to avoid the “usual suspects” with regard to lectionary assignments and helped me to think about passages of scripture in combinations I would not have pondered otherwise.  For this I thank Slemmons.  Drafting and creating these new posts has proven spiritually rewarding.  I hope that you, O reader, will find at least some of them (as well as some of the older material) edifying also.

I have organized this weblog for ease of finding posts:

  1. The search bar is obvious.
  2. The categories are self-explanatory.
  3. The tags are helpful.
  4. The guide posts group posts by dates.

Links to the guide posts follow:

  1. Lent–March
  2. Lent–April
  3. Easter–April
  4. Easter–May
  5. Easter–June

The devotions will continue at ORDINARY TIME DEVOTIONS, which links into this weblog.

Pax vobiscum!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 12, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MARTIN DOBER, MORAVIAN BISHOP AND HYMN WRITER; JOHANN LEONHARD DOBER, MORAVIAN MISSIONARY AND BISHOP; AND ANNA SCHINDLER DOBER, MORAVIAN MISSIONARY AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF EDITH CAVELL, NURSE AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT KENNETH OF SCOTLAND, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF SAINT NECTARIUS OF CONSTANTINOPLE, ARCHBISHOP

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Guide to Easter Devotions for June 2017   1 comment

paschal-candle-iii

Above:  A Paschal Candle

Image in the Public Domain

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Forty-Seventh Day of Easter:  Thursday, June 1:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/forty-seventh-and-forty-eighth-day-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-devotion/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/devotion-for-the-forty-seventh-day-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/forty-seventh-day-of-easter/

Forty-Eighth Day of Easter:  Friday, June 2:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/forty-seventh-and-forty-eighth-day-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-devotion/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/devotion-for-the-forty-eighth-and-forty-ninth-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/forty-eighth-day-of-easter/

Forth-Ninth Day of Easter:  Saturday, June 3:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/devotion-for-the-forty-ninth-day-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/devotion-for-the-forty-eighth-and-forty-ninth-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/forty-ninth-day-of-easter/

THE LAST SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR A:  THE DAY OF PENTECOST:  JUNE 4, 2017:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/devotion-for-pentecost-sunday-year-d/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/fiftieth-day-of-easter-day-of-pentecost-year-a/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/23/devotion-for-the-fiftieth-day-of-easter-day-of-pentecost-lcms-daily-lectionary/

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Devotion for Pentecost Sunday (Year D)   2 comments

icon-of-aaron

Above:  Icon of Aaron

Image in the Public Domain

Speech and Grace

JUNE 4, 2017

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The Collect:

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ,  who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 236

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The Assigned Readings:

Exodus 4:1-17 or Deuteronomy 5:1-33 or Deuteronomy 31:23-29 or Daniel 12:1-13

Psalm 119:113-136

Matthew 10:9-23 or Luke 12:1-12

2 Corinthians 11:1-12:1

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If we love God, we will keep divine commandments, the summary of which is to love God with our whole selves and to practice the Golden Rule.  Details of those generalizations tend to be culturally specific, but the principles are timeless.  We cannot keep divine commandments all the time, but we can be aware of the mandate to obey God, try to obey, and trust in the faithfulness of God.  We will have help for our vocations from God.  This help might arrive via human beings or directly from God.  Furthermore, circumstances might be quite treacherous and we might suffer and/or die, but God will never abandon those who are faithful.

Appropriately a recurring theme in some of the assigned readings for this day is speaking.  To be precise, God sends Aaron to speak for Moses and the Holy Spirit to speak through persecuted Christians.  Speech is powerful; it can build up or tear down.  Speech can inspire people to greatness and positive action or convince them that all hope is lost or that they should act negatively.  It can glorify God or blaspheme against the Holy Spirit.  Speech can exonerate or convict the innocent.  It can bless or curse.  Speech can elevate a situation with beauty and profundity or downgrade it with vulgarity.

Out of the same mouth come praise and curses.  This should not be so, my friends.  Does a fountain flow with both fresh and brackish water from the same outlet?  My friends, can a fig tree produce olives, or a grape vine produce figs?  No more can salt water produce fresh.

–James 3:10-12, The Revised English Bible (1989)

May we glorify God via our words and deeds, and may God speak and act through us.  Grace is free yet never cheap; it will cost us something.  Grace will require us to sacrifice that which detracts and distracts from glorifying God.  Grace will also never abandon us and will flow through us to benefit others and glorify God.  Will we be willing vehicles of grace?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 12, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MARTIN DOBER, MORAVIAN BISHOP AND HYMN WRITER; JOHANN LEONHARD DOBER, MORAVIAN MISSIONARY AND BISHOP; AND ANNA SCHINDLER DOBER, MORAVIAN MISSIONARY AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF EDITH CAVELL, NURSE AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT KENNETH OF SCOTLAND, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF SAINT NECTARIUS OF CONSTANTINOPLE, ARCHBISHOP

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/speech-and-grace/

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Guide to Easter Devotions for May 2017   1 comment

paschal-candle-ii

Above:  A Paschal Candle

Image in the Public Domain

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Sixteenth Day of Easter:  Monday, May 1:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/devotion-for-the-sixteenth-and-seventeenth-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/devotion-for-the-sixteenth-and-seventeenth-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/sixteenth-day-of-easter/

Seventeenth Day of Easter:  Tuesday, May 2:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/devotion-for-the-sixteenth-and-seventeenth-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/devotion-for-the-sixteenth-and-seventeenth-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/seventeenth-day-of-easter/

Eighteenth Day of Easter:  Wednesday, May 3:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/devotion-for-the-eighteenth-day-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/devotion-for-the-eighteenth-day-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/eighteenth-day-of-easter/

Nineteenth Day of Easter:  Thursday, May 4:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/devotion-for-the-nineteenth-and-twentieth-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/devotion-for-the-nineteenth-twentieth-and-twenty-first-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/nineteenth-day-of-easter/

Twentieth Day of Easter:  Friday, May 5:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/devotion-for-the-nineteenth-and-twentieth-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/devotion-for-the-nineteenth-twentieth-and-twenty-first-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/twentieth-day-of-easter/

Twenty-First Day of Easter:  Saturday, May 6:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/devotion-for-the-twenty-first-day-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/devotion-for-the-nineteenth-twentieth-and-twenty-first-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/twenty-first-day-of-easter/

THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR A:  MAY 7, 2017:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/devotion-for-the-fourth-sunday-of-easter-year-d/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/twenty-second-day-of-easter-fourth-sunday-of-easter-year-a/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/devotion-for-the-twenty-second-day-of-easter-fourth-sunday-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Twenty-Third Day of Easter:  Monday, May 8:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/devotion-for-the-twenty-third-twenty-fourth-and-twenty-fifth-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/devotion-for-the-twenty-third-and-twenty-fourth-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/twenty-third-day-of-easter/

Twenty-Fourth Day of Easter:  Tuesday, May 9:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/devotion-for-the-twenty-third-twenty-fourth-and-twenty-fifth-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/devotion-for-the-twenty-third-and-twenty-fourth-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/twenty-fourth-day-of-easter/

Twenty-Fifth Day of Easter:  Wednesday, May 10:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/devotion-for-the-twenty-third-twenty-fourth-and-twenty-fifth-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/devotion-for-the-twenty-fifth-day-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/twenty-fifth-day-of-easter/

Twenty-Sixth Day of Easter:  Thursday, May 11:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/devotion-for-the-twenty-sixth-twenty-seventh-and-twenty-eighth-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/devotion-for-the-twenty-sixth-twenty-seventh-and-twenty-eighth-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/twenty-sixth-day-of-easter/

Twenty-Seventh Day of Easter:  Friday, May 12:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/devotion-for-the-twenty-sixth-twenty-seventh-and-twenty-eighth-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/devotion-for-the-twenty-sixth-twenty-seventh-and-twenty-eighth-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/twenty-seventh-day-of-easter/

Twenty-Eighth Day of Easter:  Saturday, May 13:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/16/devotion-for-the-twenty-sixth-twenty-seventh-and-twenty-eighth-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/14/devotion-for-the-twenty-sixth-twenty-seventh-and-twenty-eighth-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/twenty-eighth-day-of-easter/

THE FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR A:  MAY 14, 2017:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/devotion-for-the-fifth-sunday-of-easter-year-d/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/twenty-ninth-day-of-easter-fifth-sunday-of-easter-year-a/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/devotion-for-the-twenty-ninth-thirtieth-and-thirty-first-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Thirtieth Day of Easter:  Monday, May 15:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/devotion-for-the-thirtieth-thirty-first-and-thirty-second-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/devotion-for-the-twenty-ninth-thirtieth-and-thirty-first-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirtieth-day-of-easter/

Thirty-First Day of Easter:  Tuesday, May 16:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/devotion-for-the-thirtieth-thirty-first-and-thirty-second-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/devotion-for-the-twenty-ninth-thirtieth-and-thirty-first-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-first-day-of-easter/

Thirty-Second Day of Easter:  Wednesday, May 17:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/devotion-for-the-thirtieth-thirty-first-and-thirty-second-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/devotion-for-the-thirty-second-day-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-second-day-of-easter/

Thirty-Third Day of Easter:  Thursday, May 18:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/devotion-for-the-thirty-third-thirty-fourth-and-thirty-fifth-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/devotion-for-the-thirty-third-day-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-third-day-of-easter/

Thirty-Fourth Day of Easter:  Friday, May 19:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/devotion-for-the-thirty-third-thirty-fourth-and-thirty-fifth-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/devotion-for-the-thirty-fourth-and-thirty-fifth-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-fourth-day-of-easter/

Thirty-Fifth Day of Easter:  Saturday, May 20:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/devotion-for-the-thirty-third-thirty-fourth-and-thirty-fifth-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/devotion-for-the-thirty-fourth-and-thirty-fifth-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-fifth-day-of-easter/

THE SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR A:  MAY 21, 2017:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/devotion-for-the-sixth-sunday-of-easter-year-d/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-sixth-day-of-easter-sixth-sunday-of-easter-year-a/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/devotion-for-the-thirty-sixth-and-thirty-seventh-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Thirty-Seventh Day of Easter:  Monday, May 22:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/devotion-for-the-thirty-seventh-thirty-eighth-and-thirty-ninth-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/16/devotion-for-the-thirty-sixth-and-thirty-seventh-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

 https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-seventh-day-of-easter/

Thirty-Eighth Day of Easter:  Tuesday, May 23:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/devotion-for-the-thirty-seventh-thirty-eighth-and-thirty-ninth-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/devotion-for-the-thirty-eighth-day-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-eighth-day-of-easter/

Thirty-Ninth Day of Easter:  Wednesday, May 24:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/devotion-for-the-thirty-seventh-thirty-eighth-and-thirty-ninth-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/devotion-for-the-thirty-ninth-fortieth-and-forty-first-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-ninth-day-of-easter/

The Feast of the the Ascension:  The Fortieth Day of Easter:  Thursday, May 25:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/devotion-for-the-feast-of-the-ascension-year-d/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/devotion-for-the-fortieth-day-of-easter-the-feast-of-the-ascension-years-a-b-and-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/devotion-for-the-thirty-ninth-fortieth-and-forty-first-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/fortieth-day-of-easter-feast-of-the-ascension/

Forty-First Day of Easter:  Friday, May 26:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/devotion-for-the-forty-first-and-forty-second-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/devotion-for-the-thirty-ninth-fortieth-and-forty-first-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/forty-first-day-of-easter/

Forty-Second Day of Easter:  Saturday, May 27:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/devotion-for-the-forty-first-and-forty-second-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/devotion-for-the-forty-second-day-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/forty-second-day-of-easter/

THE SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR A:  MAY 28, 2017:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/devotion-for-the-seventh-sunday-of-easter-year-d/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/forty-third-day-of-easter-seventh-sunday-of-easter-year-a/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/devotion-for-the-forty-third-and-forty-fourth-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Forty-Fourth Day of Easter:  Monday, May 29:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/devotion-for-the-forty-fourth-forty-fifth-and-forty-sixth-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/devotion-for-the-forty-third-and-forty-fourth-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/forty-fourth-day-of-easter/

Forty-Fifth Day of Easter:  Tuesday, May 30:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/devotion-for-the-forty-fourth-forty-fifth-and-forty-sixth-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/devotion-for-the-forty-fifth-and-forty-sixth-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/forty-fifth-day-of-easter/

Forty-Sixth Day of Easter:  Wednesday, May 31:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/devotion-for-the-forty-fourth-forty-fifth-and-forty-sixth-days-of-easter-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/devotion-for-the-forty-fifth-and-forty-sixth-days-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/forty-sixth-day-of-easter/

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Devotion for the Seventh Sunday of Easter (Year D)   2 comments

figs

Above:  Figs

Image in the Public Domain

And Pour Contempt On All My Pride

MAY 28, 2017

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The Collect:

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ,  who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 236

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The Assigned Readings:

Jeremiah 9:23-24; 24:1-10

Psalm 115

Mark 11:27-33 and 12:35-37 or Luke 20:1-8 and 20:41-47 or John 21:20-25

2 Corinthians 10:1-17

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Boasting is overrated.  It is a pastime for many and a profession for others, but the fact remains that hubris will go before the fall.  The only proper boast is in divine grace and the merits of Jesus Christ.  A vocation from God is a cause to reflect on one’s responsibility and one’s total dependence on grace, not on one’s greatness or virtues.

Part of the Law of Moses is the reality that we depend completely on God, whom we have an obligation to glorify and to whom to return in repentance whenever we stray.  Nevertheless, many of us stray repeatedly and without the habit of repentance.  We might, as in the case of the scribes in Mark 12 and Luke 20, engage in or condone economic injustice–in violation of the Law of Moses.  More mundanely, we might question the authority of Jesus in our lives.  He will win that argument ultimately, of course.  We have the gift of free will; may we, by grace, refrain from abusing it often.  None of us can use free will properly all the time, but we can, by grace, improve over time.

May we say, with Isaac Watts (1674-1748),

When I survey the wondrous cross

where the young Prince of Glory died,

my richest gain I count but loss,

and pour contempt on all my pride.

And, consistent with Matthew 25:31-46, may we care for the least of Christ’s brethren.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 12, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MARTIN DOBER, MORAVIAN BISHOP AND HYMN WRITER; JOHANN LEONHARD DOBER, MORAVIAN MISSIONARY AND BISHOP; AND ANNA SCHINDLER DOBER, MORAVIAN MISSIONARY AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF EDITH CAVELL, NURSE AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT KENNETH OF SCOTLAND, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF SAINT NECTARIUS OF CONSTANTINOPLE, ARCHBISHOP

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/and-pour-contempt-on-all-my-pride/

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Devotion for the Feast of the Ascension (Year D)   2 comments

home

Above:  Odd Fellows Widows’ and Orphans’ Home, Corsicana, Texas, 1910

J149681 U.S. Copyright Office

Copyright deposit; Jno. J. Johnson; 1910

Copyright claimant’s address: Ennis, Tex.

Photographer = John J. Johnson

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-133853

The Idol of Public Respectability

MAY 25, 2017

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The Collect:

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ,  who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 236

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The Assigned Readings:

Proverbs 1:1-7

Psalm 119:145-176

Mark 12:35-37 or Luke 20:41-47

1 John 2:3-29

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The term “fear of God” should be “awe of God,” for the latter translation conveys the concept accurately.  Certain distractions can draw our attention away from God and the awe thereof.  Among these are suffering (not necessarily a distraction, per Psalm 119, yet a distraction for many), worldly appetites (also not necessarily distractions inherently, but distractions for many), and false teaching (always a distraction).  The issue is idolatry.  An idol is an object, teaching, philosophy, or practice that draws attention and awe away from God.  Many idols for many people are not idols for many other people.  If someone treats something as an idol, it is an idol for that person.

One can seem to be holy and free of idols yet be disingenuous.  In the parallel readings from mark (extended) and Luke Jesus condemns those who put on airs of righteousness yet crave public respectability and devour the property of widows, in violation of the Law of Moses.  The spiritual successors of the scribes Jesus condemned are numerous, unfortunately.  Some of them even have their own television programs.

Public respectability is not a virtue in the Gospel of Luke:

Alas for you when the world speaks well of you!  This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.

–Luke 6:26, The Jerusalem Bible (1966)

That saying’s companion is:

Happy are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name on account of the Son of Man.  Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, then your reward will be great in heaven.  This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets.

–Luke 6:23, The Jerusalem Bible (1966)

This is a devotion for the Feast of the Ascension.  The selection of these lections seems odd, I admit, but one can make the connection.  After the Ascension Jesus was no longer physically present with his Apostles.  Afterward, however, the Holy Spirit descended upon them and empowered them to do much to spread the word of Jesus and to glorify God.  Of the original Apostles (including St. Matthias, who replaced Judas Iscariot) only two did not die as martyrs.  St. John the Evangelist suffered much for God and died of natural causes.  Those Apostles (minus Judas Iscariot) did not crave and did not receive public respectability.  They did, however, glorify God and change the world for the better.

May we resist the idol of public respectability and, by grace, live so as to glorify God and benefit our fellow human beings.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 12, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MARTIN DOBER, MORAVIAN BISHOP AND HYMN WRITER; JOHANN LEONHARD DOBER, MORAVIAN MISSIONARY AND BISHOP; AND ANNA SCHINDLER DOBER, MORAVIAN MISSIONARY AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF EDITH CAVELL, NURSE AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT KENNETH OF SCOTLAND, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF SAINT NECTARIUS OF CONSTANTINOPLE, ARCHBISHOP

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/the-idol-of-public-respectability/

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Devotion for the Sixth Sunday of Easter (Year D)   2 comments

parable-of-the-wicked-servant

Above:  Parable of the Wicked Servant, by Domenico Fetti

Image in the Public Domain

Respecting the Image of God in Others

MAY 21, 2017

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The Collect:

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ,  who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 236

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The Assigned Readings:

Deuteronomy 15:1-18 or 19:15-21

Psalm 129

Matthew 18:1-14 (15-20) or Luke 9:46-50; 17:1-4

2 Corinthians 9:1-15

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The reading for this Sunday, taken together, proclaim the mandate of economic and legal justice, condemn lying in court, command forgiving penitents, order valuing the powerless and the vulnerable, and extol the virtues of generosity of spirit and of giving.  On the other hand, we read a prayer for God to destroy Israel’s enemies and a permission slip to dun foreigners.  What are we supposed to make of all this?

First I call attention to the presence of both collective and individual sins and virtues.  My Western culture, steeped in individualism, understands individual sins better than collective and institutional ones.  I know that, as a matter of history, many professing Christians have obsessed over personal peccadilloes to the exclusion or minimizing of societal sins.

My second point is the value of foreigners who bear the image of God.  Focusing just on the Hebrew Bible for a few minutes, I recall certain passages that depict some goyim favorably:  Rahab the prostitute (Joshua 2:1-24 and 6:17-25), Ruth (Ruth 1-4), and Naaman (2 Kings 5:1-19).  And, of course, as one turns to the New Testament, one should think of the controversy regarding St. Paul the Apostle’s mission to the Gentiles.

Finally, forgiveness can be difficult, but it is the best policy.  According to a rule common among Jews at the time of Jesus, one was perfect if one forgave three times daily.  As we read in the Gospel readings, Jesus more than doubled that number, increasing it to seven.  (He affirmed spiritual challenges.)  Even if forgiving someone does not affect that person it changes for the better the one who forgives.  We also read in Matthew 7:1-5 that the standard we apply to others will be the standard God applies to us.  One might also consult Matthew 18:23-34, the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.

I understand the desire for God to smite one’s foes.  I have prayed for such results.  I have also learned that praying for their repentance–for their benefit and that of others–is a better way to proceed.  Even our foes bear the image of God, after all.  God loves them too, correct?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

OCTOBER 12, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MARTIN DOBER, MORAVIAN BISHOP AND HYMN WRITER; JOHANN LEONHARD DOBER, MORAVIAN MISSIONARY AND BISHOP; AND ANNA SCHINDLER DOBER, MORAVIAN MISSIONARY AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF EDITH CAVELL, NURSE AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF SAINT KENNETH OF SCOTLAND, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF SAINT NECTARIUS OF CONSTANTINOPLE, ARCHBISHOP

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/respecting-the-image-of-god-in-others/

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