Archive for the ‘Episcopal Church Lectionary’ Category

Guide to Easter Devotions in May 2018   1 comment

Above:  Trees Surrounded by Green Grass Field During Daytime

Image in the Public Domain


Thirty-First Day of Easter:  Tuesday, May 1:

Thirty-Second Day of Easter:  Wednesday, May 2:

Thirty-Third Day of Easter:  Thursday, May 3:

Thirty-Fourth Day of Easter:  Friday, May 4:

Thirty-Fifth Day of Easter:  Saturday, May 5:


Thirty-Seventh Day of Easter:  Monday, May 7:

Thirty-Eighth Day of Easter:  Tuesday, May 8:

Thirty-Ninth Day of Easter:  Wednesday, May 9:

Fortieth Day of Easter:  Feast of the Ascension:  Thursday, May 10:

Forty-First Day of Easter:  Friday, May 11:

Forty-Second Day of Easter:  Saturday, May 12:


Forty-Fourth Day of Easter:  Monday, May 14:

Forty-Fifth Day of Easter:  Tuesday, May 15:

Forty-Sixth Day of Easter:  Wednesday, May 16:

Forty-Seventh Day of Easter:  Thursday, May 17:

Forty-Eighth Day of Easter:  Friday, May 18:

Forty-Ninth Day of Easter:  Saturday, May 19:




Guide to Easter Devotions in April 2018   1 comment

Above:  Flower Field Under Blue and White Clouds

Image in the Public Domain



Second Day of Easter:  Monday in Easter Week:  April 2:

Third Day of Easter:  Tuesday in Easter Week:  April 3:

Fourth Day of Easter:  Wednesday in Easter Week:  April 4:

Fifth Day of Easter:  Thursday in Easter Week:  April 5:

Sixth Day of Easter:  Friday in Easter Week:  April 6:

Seventh Day of Easter:  Saturday in Easter Week:  April 7:


Ninth Day of Easter:  Monday, April 9:

Tenth Day of Easter:  Tuesday, April 10:

Eleventh Day of Easter:  Wednesday, April 11:

Twelfth Day of Easter:  Thursday, April 12:

Thirteenth Day of Easter:  Friday, April 13:

Fourteenth Day of Easter:  Saturday, April 14:


Sixteenth Day of Easter:  Monday, April 16:

Seventeenth Day of Easter:  Tuesday, April 17:

Eighteenth Day of Easter:  Wednesday, April 18:

Nineteenth Day of Easter:  Thursday, April 19:

Twentieth Day of Easter:  Friday, April 20:

Twenty-First Day of Easter:  Saturday, April 21:


Twenty-Third Day of Easter:  Monday, April 23:

Twenty-Fourth Day of Easter:  Tuesday, April 24:

Twenty-Fifth Day of Easter:  Wednesday, April 25:

Twenty-Sixth Day of Easter:  Thursday, April 26:

Twenty-Seventh Day of Easter:  Friday, April 27:

Twenty-Eighth Day of Easter:  Saturday, April 28:


Thirtieth Day of Easter:  Monday, April 30:


Guide to Lenten Devotions in March 2018   1 comment

Above:  In the Sinai, 1925

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-matpc-13505


Fourteenth Day of Lent:  Thursday, March 1:

Fifteenth Day of Lent:  Friday, March 2:

Sixteenth Day of Lent:  Saturday, March 3:


Seventeenth Day of Lent:  Monday, March 5:

Eighteenth Day of Lent:  Tuesday, March 6:

Nineteenth Day of Lent:  Wednesday, March 7:

Twentieth Day of Lent:  Thursday, March 8:

Twenty-First Day of Lent:  Friday, March 9:

Twenty-Second Day of Lent:  Saturday, March 10:


Twenty-Third Day of Lent:  Monday, March 12:

Twenty-Fourth Day of Lent: Tuesday,  March 13:

Twenty-Fifth Day of Lent:  Wednesday, March 14:

Twenty-Sixth Day of Lent:  Thursday, March 15:

Twenty-Seventh Day of Lent:  Friday, March 16:

Twenty-Eighth Day of Lent:  Saturday, March 17:


Twenty-Ninth Day of Lent:  Monday, March 19:

Thirtieth Day of Lent:  Tuesday, March 20:

Thirty-First Day of Lent:  Wednesday, March 21:

Thirty-Second Day of Lent:  Thursday, March 22:

Thirty-Third Day of Lent:  Friday, March 23:

Thirty-Fourth Day of Lent:  Saturday, March 24:


Thirty-Fifth Day of Lent:  Monday in Holy Week:  March 26:

Thirty-Sixth Day of Lent:  Tuesday in Holy Week:  March 27:

Thirty-Seventh Day of Lent:  Wednesday in Holy Week:  March 28:

Thirty-Eighth Day of Lent:  Maundy/Holy Thursday:  March 29:

Thirty-Ninth Day of Lent:  Good Friday:  March 30:

Fortieth Day of Lent:  Holy Saturday:  March 31:


Guide to Lenten Devotions in February 2018   1 comment

Above:  Sinai Desert Scene, 1898

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-matpc-11863



Second Day of Lent:  Thursday, February 15:

Third Day of Lent:  Friday, February 16:

Fourth Day of Lent:  Saturday, February 17:


Fifth Day of Lent:  Monday, February 19:

Sixth Day of Lent:  Tuesday, February 20:

Seventh Day of Lent:  Wednesday, February 21:

Eighth Day of Lent:  Thursday, February 22:

Ninth Day of Lent:  Friday, February 23:

Tenth Day of Lent:  Saturday, February 24:


Eleventh Day of Lent:  Monday, February 26:

Twelfth Day of Lent:  Tuesday, February 27:

Thirteenth Day of Lent:  Wednesday, February 28:


Forty-Ninth Day of Easter   9 comments

Above:  Saint John the Evangelist

Dying Later Yet Glorifying God Now

Saturday, May 19, 2018


Acts 28:16-20, 30-31 (Revised English Bible):

When we entered Rome Paul was allowed to lodge privately, with a soldier in charge of him.  Three days later he called together the local Jewish leaders, and when they assembled, he said to them,

My brothers, I never did anything against our people or against the customs of our forefathers; yet I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans.  They examined  me would have liked to release me because there was no capital charge against me; but the Jews objected, and I had no option but to appeal to Caesar; not that I had any accusation to bring against my own people.  This is why I have asked to talk to you; it is for loyalty to the hope of Israel that I am in chains.

He stayed there two full years at his own expense, with a welcome for all who came to to him; he proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught the facts about the Lord Jesus Christ quite openly and without hindrance.

Psalm 11 (Revised English Bible):

In the LORD I take refuge.  How can you say to me,

Flee like a bird to the mountains;

for see, the wicked string their bows

and fit the arrow to the bowstring,

to shoot from the darkness at honest folk?

When foundations are undermined,

what can the just person do?

The LORD is in his holy temple;

the LORD’s throne is in heaven.

His gaze is upon mankind, his searching eye tests them.

The LORD weighs just and unjust,

and he hates all who love violence.

He will rain fiery coals and brimstone on the wicked;

scorching winds will be the portion they drink.

For the LORD is just and loves just dealing;

his face is turned towards the upright.

John 21:20-25 (Anchor Bible):

Then Peter turned around and noticed that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following (the one who had leaned back against Jesus’ chest during the supper and said,

Lord, who is the one will betray you?)

Seeing him, Peter was prompted to ask Jesus,

But Lord, what about him?

Jesus replied,

Suppose I would like him to remain until I come, how does that concern you?  Your concern is to follow me.

This is how the word got around among all the brothers that this disciple was not going to die.  As a matter of fact, Jesus never told him that he was going to die; all he said was:

Suppose I would like him to remain until I come [how does that concern you?

It is this same disciple who is the witness to these things; it is he who wrote these things; and his testimony, we know, is true.

Still, there are many other things that Jesus did.  Yet, were they ever to be written down in detail, I doubt that there would be room enough in the whole world for the books to record them.

The Collect:

O Lord, when your Son ascended into heaven he sent down upon the Apostles the Holy Spirit, as he had promised, that they might comprehend the mysteries of the kingdom:  Distribute among us also, we pray, the gifts of the selfsame Spirit, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.


Paul arrived in Rome, spent a few years, and taught openly–until he died by beheading during the reign of the Emperor Nero.  John the Evangelist had many opportunities to become a martyr, suffered much violence and many humiliations, and yet died of natural causes as an elderly man.  The call of God to some people includes martyrdom, sooner or later.  For others the spiritual vocation permits dying of natural causes.  Common to all the above, however, is glorifying God in one’s life.  The consequences this will have on one depends on where and when one lives.

Yet there will be a personal cost.  That much is certain.  We will have to give something up.  We will become obligated to live disciplined lives and permit God to reorganize our priorities.  And we will need to lay any rivalries aside.


Published originally at SUNDRY THOUGHTS OF KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR on April 9, 2010

Posted October 29, 2010 by neatnik2009 in 2018, Easter, Episcopal Church Lectionary, May

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Forty-Eighth Day of Easter   13 comments

“Follow Me.”

Friday, May 18, 2018


Acts 25:13-25 (Revised English Bible):

Some days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived an Caesarea on a courtesy visit to Festus.  They spent some time there, and during their stay Festus raised Paul’s case with the king.

There is a man here,

he said,

left in custody by Felix; and when I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and elders of the Jews brought a charge against him, demanding his condemnation.  I replied that it was not Roman practice to hand a man over before he had been confronted with his accusers and given an opportunity of answering the charge.  So when they had come here with me I lost no time, but took my seat in court the very next day and ordered the man to be brought before me.  When his accusers rose to speak, they brought none of the charges I was expecting; they merely had certain points of religion, and about someone called Jesus, a dead man whom Paul alleged to be alive.  Finding myself out of depth in such discussions, I asked if he was willing to go to Jerusalem an stand trial on these issues.  But Paul appealed to be remanded in custody for his imperial majesty’s decision, and I ordered him to be detained until I could send him to the emperor.

Psalm 103:1-2, 19-22 (Revised English Bible):

Bless the LORD, my soul;

with all my being I bless his holy name.

Bless the LORD, my soul,

and forget none of his benefits.

The LORD has established his throne in heaven,

his kingly power over the whole world.

Bless the LORD, you his angels,

mighty in power, who do his bidding and obey his command.

Bless the LORD, all you his hosts;

his ministers who do his will.

Bless the LORD, all created things,

everywhere in his dominion.

Bless the LORD, my soul.

John 21:15-19 (Anchor Bible):

When they had eaten breakfast, Jesus addressed Simon Peter,

Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?

He said,

Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.

Jesus told him,

Then feed my lambs.

A second time Jesus repeated the question,

Simon, son of John, do you love me?

He said,

Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.

Jesus told him,

Then tend my sheep.

For the third time Jesus asked,

Simon, son of John, do you love me?

Peter was hurt because Jesus had asked for the third time,

Do you love me?

So he said to him,

Lord, you know everything; you know well that I love you.

Jesus told him,

Then feed my little sheep.  Truly I assure you, when you were a young man, you used to fasten your own belt and set off for wherever you wished.  But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.

(What he said indicated the sort of death by which Peter was to glorify God.)  After these words, Jesus told him,

Follow me

The Collect:

O loving Father, grant that your Church, being gathered by your Holy Spirit, may be dedicated more fully to your service, and live united in your love, according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.


Peter had denied Jesus three times before the crucifixion.  And he affirmed Jesus three times after the resurrection.  Yet there is more taking place in the reading from the Johannine Gospel.

The verbs for “love” vary slightly in the Greek language.  Commentaries I have consulted note this fact without assigning any significance to it, stating that these are synonyms, while noting that ancient and modern scholars have understood the different Greek words as being important.  Anyhow, the first two times Jesus and Peter converse Jesus asks if Peter has agape love for him, and Peter replies that he has phileo love for Jesus.  Agape is unconditional, sacrificial love–the kind of love God has for us.  Agape comes from the agapan, which is what John uses in the text.  (Agapan can mean “to prefer or to esteem.”)  Phileo is friendship and affection, which indicates passion, not preference.  The third time, however, Jesus asked if Peter had phileo love for him, and Peter replied that he had phileo love for Jesus.

So, if one assumes that differing Greek words indicate more than the use of synonyms, here is what the Johannine Gospel depicts.  The first two times Jesus asked Peter, “Do you prefer me to fishing and fishing boats?” and Peter’s replies indicated passion in the sense of friendship and brotherly love.  The third time, however, Jesus and Peter referred to phileo love.

Yet, as scholars of the Fourth Gospel indicate, that work uses agape (and its linguistic variations) and phileo (and its linguistic variations) interchangeably.

As a devotional exercise, however, I ask you, O reader, a spiritual question:  Do you have mere affection for Jesus, or do you prefer him to the alternatives in your life?  Follow the question wherever the Holy Spirit leads.

(Thanks to Father Raymond E. Brown’s commentary on John in sorting out Greek words, by the way.)

Both Peter and Paul became martyrs–Peter by crucifixion.  Considering himself unworthy to die as Jesus did, he was crucified upside-down.

The account from Acts becomes more understandable if one knows who these people were.  Herod Agrippa II was a client king within the Roman Empire.  Think of the British rule in India through 1947; London ruled parts of the subcontinent directly and others through natives.  Rome followed the same practice in the Holy Land.  Herod Agrippa II (reigned 53-100) was a great-grandson of Herod the Great (d. 4 B.C.E.), who had ordered the infamous massacre of the Holy Innocents.  Herod Agrippa II “ruled” part of his great-grandfather’s territory and was incestuous with Bernice, his sister, who went on to become the mistress of the Roman Emperor Titus (reigned 79-81).  Also, this Herod appointed the high priest.

Festus was the new Roman governor of Judea.  The author of Luke-Acts depicts him as a conscientious man who tried to follow the letter of the law, rule honorably, and clean up messes inherited from Felix, his predecessor.  Paul did not convince either Festus or Herod Agrippa II of the rightness of his cause, but, as Herod observed, Paul could have been freed if he had not asserted his right as a Roman citizen to appeal to the Emperor, who, unfortunately, was Nero (reigned 54-68).  (Yet Paul had a divine mandate to go to Rome.)  At Rome Paul met his death by beheading, although Acts ends before that event.

Paul preferred Jesus to the alternatives in his life.  And, at his end, so did Peter.


Published originally at SUNDRY THOUGHTS OF KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR on April 9, 2010

Forty-Seventh Day of Easter   13 comments

God With Us

Thursday, May 17, 2018


Acts 22:30; 23:6-11 (Revised English Bible):

The following day, wishing to be quite sure what charge the Jews were bringing against Paul, he [the commandant] released him and ordered the chief priests and the entire Council to assemble.  He then brought Paul down to stand before them.

Well aware that one section of them were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, Paul called out in the Council,

My brothers, I am a Pharisee, a Pharisee born and bred; and the issue in this trial is our hope of the resurrection of the dead.

At these words the Pharisees and the Sadducees fell out among themselves, and the assembly was divided.  (The Sadducees deny that there is any resurrection or angel or spirit, but the Pharisees believe in all three.)  A great uproar ensued; and some of the scribes belonging to the Pharisaic party openly took sides and declared,

We find no fault with this man; perhaps an angel or spirit has spoken to him.

In the mounting dissension, the commandant was afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces, so he ordered the troops to go down, pull him out of the crowd, and bring him into the barracks.

The following night the Lord appeared to him and said,

Keep up your courage!  You have affirmed the truth about me in Jerusalem, and you must do the same in Rome.

Psalm 16:5-11 (Revised English Bible):

LORD, you are my allotted portion and my cup;

you maintain my boundaries:

the lines fall for me in pleasant places;

I am well content with my inheritance.

I shall bless the LORD who has given me counsel:

in the night he imparts wisdom to my inmost being.

I have set the LORD before me at all times:

with him at my right hand I cannot be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad

and my spirit rejoices,

my body too rests unafraid;

for you will not abandon me to Sheol

or suffer your faithful servant to see the pit.

You will show me the path of life;

in your presence is the fullness of joy,

at your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

John 17:20-26 (Anchor Bible):

[Jesus continued,]

Yet it is not for these alone that I pray but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they all may be one, just as you, Father, in me and I in you, that they also may be [one] in us.  Thus the world may be brought to completion as one.  Thus the world may come to know that you sent me and that you loved them even as you loved me.  Father, they are your gift to me; and where I am, I wish them to be one with me, that they may see my glory which you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.  O Father most just, while the world did not know you (though I knew you), these men came to know that you sent me.  And to them  I made known your name; and I will continue to make it known so that the love you had for me may be in them and I may be in them.

The Collect:

O Lord, when your Son ascended into heaven he sent down upon the Apostles the Holy Spirit, as he had promised, that they might comprehend the mysteries of the kingdom:  Distribute among us also, we pray, the gifts of the selfsame Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


As I ponder these readings I conclude that the most eloquent statement concerning their central theme comes from Robert Lowery (1826-1899).  So I share with you the words of one of his hymns, which I found in With One Voice:  A Lutheran Resource for Worship (1995), a supplement to the Lutheran Book of Worship (1978).


1.  My life flows on in endless song;

above earth’s lamentation,

I catch the sweet, though far-off hymn

that hails a new creation.


No storm can shake my inmost calm

while to that Rock I’m clinging.

Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,

how can I keep from singing?

2.  Through all the tumult and the strife,

I hear that music ringing.

It finds an echo in my soul.

How can I keep from singing?


3.  What though my joys and comforts die?

The Lord my Savior liveth.

What though the darkness gather found?

Songs in the night he giveth.


4.  The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,

a fountain ever springing!

All things are mine since I am his!

How can I keep from singing?


(And there is another verse with references to persecutions from the era of McCarthyism in the United States.–KRT)

In prison cell and dungeon vile

our thoughts to them are winging,

when friends by shame are undefiled

how can I keep from singing?


Published originally at SUNDRY THOUGHTS OF KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR on April 9, 2010

Posted October 29, 2010 by neatnik2009 in 2018, Easter, Episcopal Church Lectionary, May

Tagged with , , ,