Archive for the ‘Lent’ Category

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

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Fourteenth Day of Lent:  Thursday, March 1:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-third-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/devotion-for-the-thirteenth-and-fourteenth-days-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

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

Fifteenth Day of Lent:  Friday, March 2:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-third-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/devotion-for-the-fifteenth-and-sixteenth-days-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

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

Sixteenth Day of Lent:  Saturday, March 3:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-third-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/devotion-for-the-fifteenth-and-sixteenth-days-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

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

THE THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT, YEAR B:  MARCH 4, 2018:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/devotion-for-the-third-sunday-in-lent-ackerman/

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

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/third-sunday-in-lent-year-b/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/devotion-for-the-third-sunday-in-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Seventeenth Day of Lent:  Monday, March 5:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-third-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

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

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

Eighteenth Day of Lent:  Tuesday, March 6:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-third-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

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

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

Nineteenth Day of Lent:  Wednesday, March 7:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-third-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

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

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

Twentieth Day of Lent:  Thursday, March 8:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-the-fourth-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

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

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

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

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-the-fourth-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

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

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

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

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/devotion-for-saturday-before-the-fourth-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

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

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

THE FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT, YEAR B:  MARCH 11, 2018:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/devotion-for-the-fourth-sunday-in-lent-ackerman/

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

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/fourth-sunday-in-lent-year-b/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/devotion-for-the-fourth-sunday-in-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

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

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-fourth-sunday-in-lent-year-b-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,  March 13:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-fourth-sunday-in-lent-year-b-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, March 14:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-fourth-sunday-in-lent-year-b-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, March 15:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-fifth-sunday-in-lent-year-b-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, March 16:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-fifth-sunday-in-lent-year-b-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, March 17:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-fifth-sunday-in-lent-year-b-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/

THE FIFTH SUNDAY IN LENT, YEAR B:  MARCH 18, 2018:

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

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

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/fifth-sunday-in-lent-year-b/

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

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

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-fifth-sunday-in-lent-year-b-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, March 20:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-fifth-sunday-in-lent-year-b-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, March 21:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-the-fifth-sunday-in-lent-year-b-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, March 22:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-palm-sunday-year-b-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, March 23:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-palm-sunday-year-b-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, March 24:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-palm-sunday-year-b-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/PASSION SUNDAY, YEAR B:  MARCH 25, 2018:

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

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

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/sunday-of-the-passion-palm-sunday-year-b/

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

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

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/

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

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/

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

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/

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

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

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

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/

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

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/

Fortieth Day of Lent:  Holy Saturday:  March 31:

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/

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

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/great-vigil-of-easter-year-b/

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Devotion for Maundy Thursday (Ackerman)   1 comment

Crucifix III July 15, 2014

Above:  A Crucifix

Photograph by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

The Suffering of the Innocent

MARCH 29, 2018

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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 11:1-6; 12:29-36

Psalm 69:19-21

1 Corinthians 11:17-22, 27-34

John 15:18-25

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The Corinthian congregation was fractious during and after the time of St. Paul the Apostle.  A generation after St. Paul, for example, St. Clement of Rome wrote his letter, called 1 Clement, to that church, which had recently deposed all of its presbyters.  Reinstate them, he instructed.  The issue at hand in 1 Corinthians 11 was the potluck meal, an early version of the Holy Eucharist.  The poorer members of the congregation depended on that meal, which some of the more fortunate members were abusing by eating ahead of time and/or taking the occasion of the potluck meal to become intoxicated.  These individuals were not contributing their fair share of the menu.

Jesus, unlike them, gave of himself selflessly and sacrificially.  He understood well that following God might make one unpopular to the point of persecution and even execution.  To make a mockery of the Holy Eucharist was (and is) to take Jesus lightly.

The author of the canonical Gospels were clear that Jesus was innocent of the charge (insurrection) upon which Roman imperial officials crucified him.  Also innocent were the firstborn Egyptian sons in Exodus; they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Maundy Thursday is an especially appropriate time, guided by these readings, to ponder the suffering of the innocent, whether at the hand of the state, selfish individuals, or any other actors.  It is also a fine time to consider how our religious tradition continues to ascribe much of this suffering of the innocent to God.  What are we accusing God of being like anyway?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 10, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (U.S.A.), 1983

THE FEAST OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CANADA, 1925

THE FEAST OF SAINT LANDERICUS OF PARIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2017/06/10/the-suffering-of-the-innocent/

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Devotion for Palm Sunday/Passion Sunday (Ackerman)   2 comments

Above:  Christ Pantocrator

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Loving Like Jesus

MARCH 25, 2018

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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 16:1-3

Psalm 103:15-18

1 John 2:7-11, 15-17

John 16:16-33

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The Gospel of John makes plain many points regarding Jesus.  Among them is that he was the Passover lamb that fateful Passover, the annual commemoration of God’s deliverance of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt.

In John 16:33 Jesus, comforting his Apostles, says,

In the world you face persecution.  But take courage, I have conquered the world!

The New Revised Standard Version (1989)

Then, shortly later, he went off to die at the brutal hands of the Roman Empire.

Jesus as either delusional or accurate.  From a flawed, human perspective, he was the former.  Jesus was actually accurate, of course.  He modeled love–selfless and sacrificial love, such as that extolled in 1 John 2–to the end.  And, of course, there was the resurrection.

We who call ourselves Christians have a mandate from God to love radically, selflessly, and sacrificially.  We have orders to follow our teacher and to pursue a course higher than the ones we see held in esteem in society.  We have an obligation to do this without grumbling or any form of negativity.  We have a responsibility to pursue our divine vocation while trusting in God, through whom Jesus conquered the world.

The world does not seem conquered by Jesus, does it?  Nevertheless, God is in control; may we remember that.  God has purposes we cannot comprehend and tactics impossible for us to grasp.  Our duty is to love like Jesus.  May we, by grace, fulfill our duty before God.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 9, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT COLUMBA OF IONA, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY AND ABBOT

THE FEAST OF GERHARD GIESCHEN, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHANN FRANCK, HEINRICH HELD, AND SIMON DACH, GERMAN LUTHERAN HYMN WRITERS

THE FEAST OF THOMAS JOSEPH POTTER, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, POET, AND HYMN WRITER

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/loving-like-jesus/

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Devotion for the Fifth Sunday in Lent (Ackerman)   2 comments

Above:  Joshua and the Israelite People

Image in the Public Domain

Resisting Evil Without Joining Its Ranks

MARCH 18, 2018

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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 7:1-5

Psalm 141:1-4

Romans 13:1-7

Mark 13:21-23

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On this, the penultimate Sunday of Lent, we read of Jesus nearing Jerusalem.  If I could summarize the ministry of Jesus in one word, that word would be love, often in opposition to authority figures.  I raise that point because of the readings from Deuteronomy 7 and Romans 13, I refuse to condone or commit genocide and to support an oppressive government.

The context of Deuteronomy 7, certainly read in the context of two exiles, is the fact that sin is contagious; people influence each other.  That fact, however, does not justify genocide, as the text does.  Also, I cannot imagine Jesus commanding his followers to kill populations–or individuals.

As for Romans 13, certain leaders of the young and vulnerable church sought to avoid persecution of the church and counseled a “go along and get along” approach to the empire much of the time–except for sacrificing to false gods, of course.  As I read Jesus in the Gospels, however, he died at the hands of the Roman Empire on the charge of being a threat to imperial security.  He challenged authority, but not violently.  St. Paul the Apostle was wrong in Romans 13:1-5.

Psalm 141, unfortunately, turns toward violence after verse 4.  To choose not to be like evildoers is commendable.  Sometimes violence might even be justifiable, as in the case of self-defense or the defense of others.  But we must be careful not to become like our enemies as we resist them.  If we fail in that objective, what good will we be able to commit?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 9, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT COLUMBA OF IONA, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY AND ABBOT

THE FEAST OF GERHARD GIESCHEN, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHANN FRANCK, HEINRICH HELD, AND SIMON DACH, GERMAN LUTHERAN HYMN WRITERS

THE FEAST OF THOMAS JOSEPH POTTER, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, POET, AND HYMN WRITER

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/resisting-evil-without-joining-its-ranks/

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Devotion for the Fourth Sunday in Lent (Ackerman)   2 comments

Above:  High Priest Offering Incense on an Altar

Image in the Public Domain

The Failure of the Flesh

MARCH 11, 2018

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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:

Leviticus 18:19-22; 19:19, 27-28

Psalm 118:5-9

Romans 1:8-2:11

Mark 10:32-34

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While the reading from Mark 10 marks the movement of Jesus toward his death and Psalm 118 reminds us of the wisdom of trusting in God and not in flesh, we read frequently misinterpreted passages from Leviticus and Romans.  Although the homosexual orientation has existed since antiquity, the recognition of its reality is much more recent.  The assumption in the readings, therefore, is that there is no such thing as the homosexual orientation, hence the allegedly unnatural nature of the acts.  Furthermore, Leviticus also condemns wearing clothing (except in fringes and in priestly vestments) made of two or more types of cloth and recognizes the existence of slavery.  The illicit sexual encounter in Leviticus 19:20 is allegedly wrong–and a capital offense–because someone has reserved the slave woman for another man.  As for combining linen and wool (except when one is supposed to do so), mixing them is wrong in the text, as are mixing seeds of two plants in the same field and breeding animals across species barriers.

The real theme seems to be mixing.  As Everett Fox summarizes,

Mixtures in the Bible seem to be reserved for the divine sphere alone.

The Five Books of Moses (1997), page 603

And God mandates some mixing in the Torah, as I have indicated.  Exodus 28:6 and 39:29 prescribe the mixing of different types of cloth in priestly vestments and Numbers 15:37-40 commands fringes on clothing.

Mixing has long obsessed many people.  Race mixing has long occurred in the United States, for example.  It was ubiquitous on plantations–often via the rape of slave women by masters.  The social offense was getting caught.  Consensual race mixing via marriage used to be illegal in 27 states, until 1967.

The truth, of course, is that many of us are genetic hodge-podges.  I am, for example, somewhat Cherokee, although my ancestry is mostly British and Irish, with contributions from elsewhere in Western Europe.  Purity is not a matter of ethnicity or of any other form of identity, despite the fact that many people insist that it is.  Thinking vainly that is otherwise exemplifies claiming to be wise yet really being a fool.

The real point of the reading from Romans is not to judge others for doing what one also does (2:1).  Besides, judgment resides in the divine purview alone.  In Pauline theology to break one part of the Law of Moses is to violate the entire code–a thought worthy of consideration in the context of divine patience, meant to lead people to repentance.

Guilt in the reading from Roman 1-2 is both individual and collective.  Individual sins are staples of much of the theology of Protestantism, which does not handle collective sins as well as Judaism and Roman Catholicism do.  To focus on personal peccadilloes to the marginalization or denial of collective sins is to mis the point and the means of correcting the relevant social problem or problems.  And all of us are partially responsible for faults in our societies.  Will we accept that reality and act accordingly?

The natural conclusion to this post comes from Psalm 118.  Rely on God, not on flesh.  God is faithful, but flesh fails.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 7, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK LUCIAN HOSMER, U.S. UNITARIAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTHONY MARY GIANELLI, FOUNDER OF THE MISSIONARIES OF SAINT ALPHONSUS LUGUORI AND THE SISTERS OF MARY DELL’ORTO

THE FEAST OF CHARLES AUGUSTUS BRIGGS, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER THEN EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT ROBERT OF NEWMINSTER, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND PRIEST

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/the-failure-of-the-flesh/

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Devotion for the Third Sunday in Lent (Ackerman)   2 comments

Above:  Jephthah

Image in the Public Domain

Texts of Terror

MARCH 4, 2018

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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:

Judges 11:29-40

Psalm 57:1-3

1 Timothy 2:11-15

Luke 19:41-44

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David Ackerman, in Beyond the Lectionary (2013), gravitates toward “texts of terror,” from which the Revised Common Lectionary shies away from more often than not.

  1. I object to a father sacrificing his daughter for any reason, especially because he made a rash oath to God.  Surely God will not blame a man for not killing his child, an innocent victim whose name the Bible does not even record.
  2. Likewise, the chauvinism of 1 Timothy 2 is beyond the pale.  I detect a recurring theme in many of the epistles:  “Go along and get along; be respectable to pagan society.  Besides, Jesus will be along soon to sort everything out.  So accept slavery as well as sexist household codes of conduct.”  The problem, of course, is that such an approach, however popular in early and vulnerable Christianity, betrays the ethics of Judaism and of Jesus, a boat-rocker (even boat-sinker).
  3. I am certain that the Gospel of Luke, postdating the First Jewish War and the destruction of the Second Temple, interprets events from the life of Jesus through the lens of the year 85 C.E. or so.  The temptation to commit invective is an easy trap into which to fall, is it not?

Psalm 57 is a plea for divine pity.  Yet the story of the misuse of the other three texts to oppress people and justify violence against them is not only old, but devoid of human pity.  Ackerman encourages preachers to oppose such texts and offer hope; I agree.  After all, we Christians follow Jesus, crucified with the consent of religious leaders, who quoted scripture as justification.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 7, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK LUCIAN HOSMER, U.S. UNITARIAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTHONY MARY GIANELLI, FOUNDER OF THE MISSIONARIES OF SAINT ALPHONSUS LUGUORI AND THE SISTERS OF MARY DELL’ORTO

THE FEAST OF CHARLES AUGUSTUS BRIGGS, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER THEN EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT ROBERT OF NEWMINSTER, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND PRIEST

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2017/06/07/texts-of-terror/

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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

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ASH WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2017/06/05/devotion-for-ash-wednesday-ackerman/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2016/10/08/devotion-for-ash-wednesday-year-d/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/first-day-of-lent-ash-wednesday/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/devotion-for-ash-wednesday-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/devotion-for-ash-wednesday-years-a-b-and-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

Second Day of Lent:  Thursday, February 15:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-the-first-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/devotion-for-the-second-day-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/second-day-of-lent/

Third Day of Lent:  Friday, February 16:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-the-first-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/devotion-for-the-third-day-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/third-day-of-lent/

Fourth Day of Lent:  Saturday, February 17:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/devotion-for-saturday-before-the-first-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/devotion-for-the-fourth-day-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/fourth-day-of-lent/

THE FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT, YEAR B:  FEBRUARY 18, 2018:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2017/06/05/devotion-for-the-first-sunday-in-lent-ackerman/

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

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/first-sunday-in-lent-year-b/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/devotion-for-the-first-sunday-in-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Fifth Day of Lent:  Monday, February 19:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-the-first-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/devotion-for-the-fifth-day-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/fifth-day-of-lent/

Sixth Day of Lent:  Tuesday, February 20:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-the-first-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/devotion-for-the-sixth-day-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/sixth-day-of-lent/

Seventh Day of Lent:  Wednesday, February 21:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/devotion-for-wednesday-after-the-first-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/devotion-for-the-seventh-day-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/seventh-day-of-lent/

Eighth Day of Lent:  Thursday, February 22:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-second-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/devotion-for-the-eighth-and-ninth-days-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/eighth-day-of-lent/

Ninth Day of Lent:  Friday, February 23:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-second-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/12/devotion-for-the-eighth-and-ninth-days-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/ninth-day-of-lent/

Tenth Day of Lent:  Saturday, February 24:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/06/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-second-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/devotion-for-the-tenth-day-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

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

THE SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT, YEAR B:  FEBRUARY 25, 2018:

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

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

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2011/07/25/second-sunday-in-lent-year-b/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/devotion-for-the-second-sunday-in-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Eleventh Day of Lent:  Monday, February 26:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-the-second-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/devotion-for-the-eleventh-and-twelfth-days-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

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

Twelfth Day of Lent:  Tuesday, February 27:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-the-second-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/devotion-for-the-eleventh-and-twelfth-days-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

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

Thirteenth Day of Lent:  Wednesday, February 28:

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2014/12/08/devotion-for-wednesday-after-the-second-sunday-in-lent-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/devotion-for-the-thirteenth-and-fourteenth-days-of-lent-lcms-daily-lectionary/

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

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