Archive for the ‘April’ Category

Guide to Easter Devotions for April 2019   1 comment

Above:  St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Athens, Georgia, 1939

Photographer = Frances Benjamin Johnston

Image Source = Library of Congress

The tower and steeple have remained, having become a landmark.  The demolition of the building, which served a number of functions for more than a century, occurred in 1990.

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EASTER SUNDAY, YEAR C:  APRIL 21, 2019:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/devotion-for-easter-sunday-year-a-humes/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2017/06/11/devotion-for-easter-sunday-ackerman/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/devotion-for-easter-sunday-morning-year-d/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/devotion-for-easter-sunday-evening-year-d/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/first-day-of-easter-easter-sunday-year-c-principal-service/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/devotion-for-the-first-day-of-easter-easter-sunday-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/first-day-of-easter-easter-sunday-years-a-b-and-c-evening-service/

Second Day of Easter:  Monday in Easter Week:  April 22:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2015/12/18/devotion-for-monday-after-easter-sunday-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/devotion-for-the-second-day-of-easter-monday-in-easter-week-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/second-day-of-easter-monday-in-easter-week/

Third Day of Easter:  Tuesday in Easter Week:  April 23:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2015/12/18/devotion-for-tuesday-after-easter-sunday-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/devotion-for-the-third-day-of-easter-tuesday-in-easter-week-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/third-day-of-easter-tuesday-in-easter-week/

Fourth Day of Easter:  Wednesday in Easter Week, April 24:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2015/12/18/devotion-for-wednesday-after-easter-sunday-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/devotion-for-the-fourth-day-of-easter-wednesday-in-holy-week-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/fourth-day-of-easter-wednesday-in-easter-week/

Fifth Day of Easter:  Thursday in Easter Week, April 25:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2015/12/18/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-second-sunday-of-easter-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/devotion-for-the-fifth-day-of-easter-thursday-in-easter-week-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/fifth-day-of-easter-thursday-in-easter-week/

Sixth Day of Easter:  Friday in Easter Week, April 26:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2015/12/18/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-second-sunday-of-easter-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/devotion-for-the-sixth-day-of-easter-friday-in-easter-week-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/sixth-day-of-easter-friday-in-easter-week/

Seventh Day of Easter:  Saturday in Easter Week, April 27:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2015/12/18/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-second-sunday-of-easter-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/devotion-for-the-seventh-day-of-easter-saturday-in-easter-week-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/seventh-day-of-easter-saturday-in-easter-week/

EIGHTH DAY OF EASTER:  SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR C:  APRIL 28, 2019:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/devotion-for-the-second-sunday-of-easter-year-a-humes/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/devotion-for-the-second-sunday-of-easter-ackerman/

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

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/eighth-day-of-easter-second-sunday-of-easter-year-c/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/eighth-day-of-easter-second-sunday-of-easter-year-c/

Ninth Day of Easter:  Monday, April 29:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-second-sunday-of-easter-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/devotion-for-the-ninth-day-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionay/

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

Tenth Day of Easter:  Tuesday, April 30:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-second-sunday-of-easter-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/devotion-for-the-tenth-day-of-easter-lcms-daily-lectionary/

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

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Devotion for the Second Sunday of Easter, Year A (Humes)   2 comments

Above:  St. Matthias

Image in the Public Domain

Resurrected Lives, Part II

APRIL 28, 2019

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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:

Acts 1:12-26

Psalm 16:5-11

1 Peter 1:3-9, 14-25

Matthew 28:11-20

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Since by your obedience to the truth you have purified yourselves so that you can experience the genuine love of brothers, love each other intensely from the heart….

–1 Peter 1:22, The New Jerusalem Bible (1985)

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As one’s soul rejoices in God, who resurrected Jesus, who has issued the Great Commission, one requires guidance in how to follow Christ.  Certain rules are specific to times and places, but principles are timeless.  In 1 Peter 1:22 and elsewhere the germane principle is genuine love for God and others.  Love of the unconditional and self-sacrificial variety, we read in 1 Corinthians 13, prioritizes others and is not puffed up.  Such love builds up others.

This is a high standard; each of us falls short of it.  By grace we can succeed some of the time, however.  Furthermore, we can strive for agape love more often than we act on it.  We need not attempt moral perfection, which is impossible, but we must seek to do as well as possible, by grace.  We are imperfect; God knows that.  Yet we can improve.

The surviving Apostles regrouped and restored their number to twelve.  They selected St. Matthias to fill the vacancy the death of Judas Iscariot had created.  St. Matthias became a martyr; he loved God to the point of dying for the faith.  We might not have to make the choice, but we still owe God everything.

Grace is always free yet never cheap.  In the wake of Easter it demands that we who accept it lead resurrected lives defined by love.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 30, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOAN OF ARC, ROMAN CATHOLIC VISIONARY AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF APOLO KIVEBULAYA, APOSTLE TO THE PYGMIES

THE FEAST OF JOSEPHINE BUTLER, ENGLISH FEMINIST AND SOCIAL REFORMER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS LUKE KIRBY, THOMAS COTTAM, WILLIAM FILBY, AND LAURENCE RICHARDSON, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/resurrected-lives-part-ii/

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Devotion for Easter Sunday, Year A (Humes)   2 comments

Above:  Easter Celtic Cross

Image Scanned by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Resurrected Lives, Part I

APRIL 21, 2019

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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:

Acts 2:22-41 or Job 19:7-27c

Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Matthew 28:1-10

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The reading from Job 19 might seem at first to be an odd selection for Easter Sunday.  The choice makes much sense on this occasion, however.  The lesson reminds us that even innocent people suffer, despite what certain conventionally pious people, such as alleged friends who insult the afflicted, claim.  Reading the Book of Job and the Gospel of John together highlights the falseness of the arguments of Job’s alleged friends, for, in the Johannine Gospel, the crucifixion of Jesus is Christ’s glorification.

Psalm 118 is a prayer of thanksgiving for victory in battle.  The theme of victory certainly applies to Easter, central to the Christian liturgical year.  Likewise the resurrection of Jesus is central to Christianity, as 1 Corinthians 15, in its entirety, affirms.

The body of Christian doctrine is varied and frequently self-contradictory, given the wide variety of competing denominations.  An orthodox Christian in one denomination is simultaneously a heretic, according to the standards of many other denominations.  Yet, for all the variation in doctrines not essential to salvation, a few doctrines are mandatory.  The Incarnation is one.  The atonement (with at least three interpretations of it dating to the Patristic Era) is a second.  The resurrection of Jesus is a third.

In the academic study of history one, assuming that one’s facts are correct and one’s chronology is in order, one must still be able to answer one question satisfactorily:

So what?

St. Paul the Apostle, in 1 Corinthians 15, answers that question ably down the corridors of time.  Through the resurrection of Jesus, we read (especially after verse 11), we Christians, liberated from our former states of sin, have hope; we lead resurrected lives.  Otherwise, if the resurrection is false,

…we of all people are most to be pitied.

–1 Corinthians 15:19b, The Revised English Bible (1989)

Yet we are not, thanks to God.

Happy Easter!

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 30, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOAN OF ARC, ROMAN CATHOLIC VISIONARY AND MARTYR

THE FEAST OF APOLO KIVEBULAYA, APOSTLE TO THE PYGMIES

THE FEAST OF JOSEPHINE BUTLER, ENGLISH FEMINIST AND SOCIAL REFORMER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS LUKE KIRBY, THOMAS COTTAM, WILLIAM FILBY, AND LAURENCE RICHARDSON, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2018/05/30/resurrected-lives-part-i/

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This is post #400 of LENTEN AND EASTER DEVOTIONS.

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Guide to Lenten Devotions for April 2019   1 comment

Above:  Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Athens, Georgia

Photographer = Harry O. Yates, III

Scanned from The Diocese of Atlanta Centennial Celebration, 1907-2007 (2006), compiled and  edited by James P. Marshall, Jr., with William P. McLemore

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Twenty-Third Day of Lent:  Monday, April 1:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-the-fourth-sunday-in-lent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/devotion-for-the-twenty-third-day-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/twenty-third-day-of-lent/

Twenty-Fourth Day of Lent:  Tuesday, April 2:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-the-fourth-sunday-in-lent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/devotion-for-the-twenty-fourth-and-twenty-fifth-days-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/twenty-fourth-day-of-lent/

Twenty-Fifth Day of Lent:  Wednesday, April 3:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/devotion-for-wednesday-after-the-fourth-sunday-in-lent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/devotion-for-the-twenty-fourth-and-twenty-fifth-days-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/twenty-fifth-day-of-lent/

Twenty-Sixth Day of Lent:  Thursday, April 4:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-the-fifth-sunday-in-lent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/devotion-for-the-twenty-sixth-and-twenty-seventh-days-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/twenty-sixth-day-of-lent/

Twenty-Seventh Day of Lent:  Friday, April 5:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-the-fifth-sunday-in-lent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/devotion-for-the-twenty-sixth-and-twenty-seventh-days-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/twenty-seventh-day-of-lent/

Twenty-Eighth Day of Lent:  Saturday, April 6:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/devotion-for-saturday-before-the-fifth-sunday-in-lent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/devotion-for-the-twenty-eighth-day-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/twenty-eighth-day-of-lent/

FIFTH SUNDAY IN LENT, YEAR C:  APRIL 7, 2019:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2018/05/25/devotion-for-the-fifth-sunday-in-lent-year-a-humes/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2016/10/09/devotion-for-the-fifth-sunday-in-lent-year-d/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/devotion-for-the-fifth-sunday-in-lent-ackerman/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/fifth-sunday-in-lent-year-c/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/devotion-for-the-fifth-sunday-in-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Twenty-Ninth Day of Lent:  Monday, April 8:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/devotion-for-monday-after-the-fifth-sunday-in-lent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/devotion-for-the-twenty-ninth-day-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/twenty-ninth-day-of-lent/

Thirtieth Day of Lent:  Tuesday, April 9:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/devotion-for-tuesday-after-the-fifth-sunday-in-lent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/devotion-for-the-thirtieth-and-thirty-first-days-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

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

Thirty-First Day of Lent:  Wednesday, April 10:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/devotion-for-wednesday-after-the-fifth-sunday-in-lent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/devotion-for-the-thirtieth-and-thirty-first-days-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

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

Thirty-Second Day of Lent:  Thursday, April 11:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-palm-sunday-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/devotion-for-the-thirty-second-and-thirty-third-days-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

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

Thirty-Third Day of Lent:  Friday, April 12:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-palm-sunday-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/devotion-for-the-thirty-second-and-thirty-third-days-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

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

Thirty-Fourth Day of Lent:  Saturday, April 13:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/devotion-for-saturday-before-palm-sunday-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/devotion-for-the-thirty-fourth-day-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

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

PALM SUNDAY:  THE SUNDAY OF THE PASSION, YEAR C:  APRIL 14, 2019:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2018/05/25/devotion-for-the-fifth-sunday-in-lent-year-a-humes/

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

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/devotion-for-palm-sundaypassion-sunday-ackerman/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/sunday-of-the-passion-palm-sunday-year-c/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/devotion-for-the-sunday-of-the-passion-palm-sunday-lcms-daily-lectionary/

MONDAY IN HOLY WEEK:  APRIL 15, 2019:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2018/05/25/monday-for-monday-of-holy-week-years-a-b-c-and-d-humes/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/devotion-for-monday-in-holy-week-years-a-b-and-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/devotion-for-the-thirty-fifth-day-of-lent-monday-in-holy-week-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-fifth-day-of-lent-monday-in-holy-week/

TUESDAY IN HOLY WEEK:  APRIL 16, 2019:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2018/05/27/devotion-for-tuesday-of-holy-week-years-a-b-c-and-d-humes/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/devotion-for-tuesday-in-holy-week-years-a-b-and-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/devotion-for-the-thirty-sixth-day-of-lent-tuesday-in-holy-week-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-sixth-day-of-lent-tuesday-in-holy-week/

WEDNESDAY IN HOLY WEEK:  APRIL 17, 2019:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2018/05/27/devotion-for-wednesday-of-holy-week-years-a-b-c-and-d-humes/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/devotion-for-wednesday-in-holy-week-years-a-b-and-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/devotion-for-the-thirty-seventh-day-of-lent-wednesday-in-holy-week-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-seventh-day-of-lent-wednesday-in-holy-week/

HOLY/MAUNDY THURSDAY:  APRIL 18, 2019:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2018/05/27/devotion-for-holy-maundy-thursday-years-a-b-c-and-d-humes/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/devotion-for-maundy-thursday-year-d/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2017/06/10/devotion-for-maundy-thursday-ackerman/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/devotion-for-maundy-thursday-years-a-b-and-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/devotion-for-the-thirty-eighth-day-of-lent-maundy-thursday-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-eighth-day-of-lent-maundy-thursday/

GOOD FRIDAY:  APRIL 19, 2019:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/devotion-for-good-friday-years-a-b-c-and-d-humes/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/devotion-for-good-friday-year-d/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/devotion-for-good-friday-years-a-b-and-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/devotion-for-the-thirty-ninth-day-of-lent-good-friday-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/thirty-ninth-day-of-lent-good-friday/

HOLY SATURDAY:  APRIL 20, 2019:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/devotion-for-holy-saturday-years-a-b-c-and-d-humes/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/devotion-for-the-great-vigil-of-easter-years-a-b-c-and-d-humes/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/devotion-for-the-great-vigil-of-easter-year-d/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/great-vigil-of-easter-year-c/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/devotion-for-the-fortieth-day-of-lent-holy-saturday-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/29/fortieth-day-of-lent-holy-saturday/

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Devotion for the Great Vigil of Easter, Years A, B, C, and D (Humes)   2 comments

Above:  Icon of the Resurrection

Image Scanned by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

The Light of Christ, Part II

APRIL 20-21, 2019

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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:

At least three of the following sets:

Genesis 1:1-2:4a and Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26

Genesis 7:1-5, 11-18; 8:6-18; 9:8-13 and Psalm 46

Genesis 22:1-18 and Psalm 16

Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21 and Exodus 15:1b-13, 17-18

Isaiah 55:1-11 and Isaiah 12:2-6

Ezekiel 20:1-24 and Psalm 19

Ezekiel 36:24-28 and Psalms 42 and 43

Ezekiel 37:1-14 and Psalm 143

Zephaniah 3:14-20 and Psalm 98

Then:

Romans 6:3-11

Psalm 114

Matthew 28:1-10

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The history of the Great Vigil of Easter is interesting.  We do not know when the service began, but we do know that it was already well-established in the second century C.E.  We also know that the Great Vigil was originally a preparation for baptism.  Reading the history of the Easter Vigil reveals the elaboration of the rite during ensuing centuries, to the point that it lasted all night and was the Easter liturgy by the fourth century.  One can also read of the separation of the Easter Vigil and the Easter Sunday service in the sixth century.  As one continues to read, one learns of the vigil becoming a minor afternoon ritual in the Roman missal of 1570.  Then one learns of the revival of the Easter Vigil in Holy Mother Church in the 1950s then, in North America, in The Episcopal Church and mainline Lutheranism during the liturgical renewal of the 1960s and 1970s.  Furthermore, if one consults the U.S. Presbyterian Book of Common Worship (1993) and The United Methodist Book of Worship (1992), on finds the ritual for the Great Vigil of Easter in those volumes.

The early readings for the Easter Vigil trace the history of God’s salvific work, from creation to the end of the Babylonian Exile.  The two great Hebrew Biblical themes of exile and exodus are prominent.  Then the literal darkness ends, the lights come up, and the priest announces the resurrection of Jesus.  The eucharistic service continues and, if there are any candidates for baptism, that sacrament occurs.

One of the chants for the Easter Vigil is

The light of Christ,

to which the congregation chants in response,

Thanks be to God.

St. Paul the Apostle, writing in Romans, reminds us down the corridors of time that the light of Christ ought to shine in our lives.  May that light shine brightly through us, by grace, that we may glorify God every day we are on this side of Heaven.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 29, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF PERCY DEARMER, ANGLICAN CANON AND TRANSLATOR AND AUTHOR OF HYMNS

THE FEAST OF SAINT BONA OF PISA, ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTIC AND PILGRIM

THE FEAST OF JIRI TRANOVSKY, LUTHER OF THE SLAVS AND FOUNDER OF SLOVAK HYMNODY

THE FEAST OF JOACHIM NEANDER, GERMAN REFORMED MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/the-light-of-christ-part-iv/

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Devotion for Holy Saturday, Years A, B, C, and D (Humes)   2 comments

Above:  Icon of the Harrowing of Hell

Image in the Public Domain

The Light of Christ, Part I

APRIL 20, 2019

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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:

Job 14:1-4 or Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24

Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16

1 Peter 4:1-8

Matthew 27:57-66 or John 19:38-42

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To permit Jess to remain dead liturgically until late Holy Saturday or early Easter Sunday morning–until the Great Vigil of Easter–is spiritually helpful.  By doing this one will derive more spiritual benefit from Easter than if one rushes into it.  Spiritual peaks mean as much as they do because of the valleys.

The audience for 1 Peter consisted of Gentile Christians in Asia Minor suffering for their faith.  The call to witness to Christ in their lives made sense.  (It still makes sense for we Christians today), in all our cultural contexts, regardless of the presence or absence of persecution.)  In that textual context the author (in 3:19 and 4:6) referred to Christ’s post-crucifixion and pre-Resurrection descent to the dead/into Hell.  These references have led to several interpretations for millennia, but the linkage to these verses to the Classic Theory of the Atonement, that is, the Conquest of Satan, has been easy to recognize.

A note in The Orthodox Study Bible (2008), for obvious reasons flowing from Eastern Orthodox theology, affirms the descent of Christ into Hell.  It reads in part:

As Christ fearlessly faced His tormenters, death, and hell, so we through Him can confidently face mockers and tormenters–and yes, bring His light to them.

–Page 1687

That is a great responsibility.  To bring the light of Christ to others–especially our enemies–is a high calling.  We can succeed in it, by grace.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 29, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF PERCY DEARMER, ANGLICAN CANON AND TRANSLATOR AND AUTHOR OF HYMNS

THE FEAST OF SAINT BONA OF PISA, ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTIC AND PILGRIM

THE FEAST OF JIRI TRANOVSKY, LUTHER OF THE SLAVS AND FOUNDER OF SLOVAK HYMNODY

THE FEAST OF JOACHIM NEANDER, GERMAN REFORMED MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/the-light-of-christ-part-iii/

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Devotion for Good Friday, Years A, B, C, and D (Humes)   2 comments

Above:  Icon of the Crucifixion, by Andrei Rublev

Image in the Public Domain

Love and Active Goodness

APRIL 19, 2019

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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:

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

Psalm 22

Hebrews 10:16-25

John 18:1-19:42

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Who is the servant in Isaiah 52:13-53:12?  That has been a debated issue.  If one assumes that, as in earlier Servant Songs, the servant is the personification of the exiled nation of Israel (broadly speaking), the former Kingdom of Judah or at least the faithful remnant thereof, one must accept that the redemptive suffering during the Babylonian Exile was supposed to benefit Gentiles also.  The text certainly applies well to Jesus, who quoted the beginning of Psalm 22 from the cross.  That text, the prayer of one afflicted with a mortal illness, ends on a note of trust in God–certainly on a happy note, unlike Good Friday and the events thereof.

Focusing on the crucifixion of Jesus is proper on Good Friday.  As we do so may we ponder Hebrews 10:24, part of one of the pericopes:

We ought to see how each of us may arouse others to love and active goodness.

The Revised English Bible (1989)

That is a Christlike ethic!  “Love and active goodness” summarize Christ well.  “Love and active goodness” describe his self-sacrifice succinctly.  “Love and active goodness” summarize a faithful response to such selflessness and redemptive suffering.

Yet we frequently arouse each other to anger, usually for selfish purposes.  Anger is not necessarily bad, for we should be angry sometimes, as evidence of well-developed consciences.  Nevertheless, anger and expressions thereof are frequently destructive, not constructive.  This is certainly evident in media, social media, politics, and the comments sections of many websites.

Jesus has shown us a better way.  The long-dead author of the Letter to the Hebrews understood that better way well.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 29, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF PERCY DEARMER, ANGLICAN CANON AND TRANSLATOR AND AUTHOR OF HYMNS

THE FEAST OF SAINT BONA OF PISA, ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTIC AND PILGRIM

THE FEAST OF JIRI TRANOVSKY, LUTHER OF THE SLAVS AND FOUNDER OF SLOVAK HYMNODY

THE FEAST OF JOACHIM NEANDER, GERMAN REFORMED MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/love-and-active-goodness/

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