Archive for the ‘Revised Common Lectionary Year B’ 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:


Fiftieth Day of Easter: Day of Pentecost, Year B   32 comments

Above:  Descent of the Holy Spirit

Our Advocate

MAY 20, 2018


The Assigned Readings for This Sunday:

Acts 2:1-21 or Ezekiel 37:1-14

Psalm 104:25-35, 37

Romans 8:22-27 or Acts 2:1-21

John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

The Collect:

Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Some Related Posts:

Fiftieth Day of Easter:  Day of Pentecost, Year A:

A Prayer for Those With Only the Holy Spirit to Intercede for Them:


I have written more than once that judgment and mercy coexist in the Bible.  This assertion is obvious from a close reading of the sacred anthology.  This day the emphasis belongs on mercy.

We read in John 16 that the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, is the Advocate.  This is a legal term; our Advocate is our defense attorney.  In other words, God stands with us, so why should we fear?

Nevertheless, many Christians have suffered persecution and martyrdom for twenty centuries.  Many still do.  And Jesus, from whose Greek title, Christ, we derive the label “Christian,” died on a cross.  So this divine companionship and defense does not guard every follower of God from physical or legal harm.  Yet the message of Christ has continued to spread, the blood of the martyrs continues to water the Church, and killing people cannot end the spread of Christianity.

Beyond all that, those who die faithful to God go to God in the afterlife.  No harm can touch them there.  This might seem like cold comfort or no comfort in this life, but it is something.  The world is imperfect, and only God can repair it.

Yet may we rejoice that we have an Advocate.  May the quality of our lives reflect this gratitude.




Forty-Third Day of Easter: Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year B   20 comments

Above:  Christ Pantocrator

Eternal Life

MAY 13, 2018


Acts 1:15-17, 21-26 (New Revised Standard Version):

In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred twenty persons) and said,

Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus– for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry. So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us– one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.

So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed and said,

Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.

And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

Psalm 1 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

1 Happy are they who have not walked in the counsel of the wicked,

nor lingered in the way of sinners,

nor sat in the seats of the scornful!

2 Their delight is in the law of the LORD,

and the meditate on his law day and night.

They are like trees planted by streams of water,

bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither,

everything they do shall prosper.

4 It is not so with the wicked;

they are like the chaff which the wind blows away.

Therefore the wicked shall not stand upright when judgment comes,

nor the sinner in the council of the righteous.

For the LORD knows the ways of the righteous,

but the way of the wicked is doomed.

1 John 5:9-13 (New Revised Standard Version):

If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son. Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son. And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

John 17:6-19 (New Revised Standard Version):

Looking up to heaven, Jesus prayed,

I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.

The Collect:

O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.


Some Related Posts:

Forty-Third Day of Easter:  Seventh Day of Easter, Year A:

1 John 5:

Feast of St. Matthias (February 24):


The Jesus of the Gospel of Mark speaks from time to time (mostly briefly) yet acts more often than he says much.  In contrast, the Jesus of the Johannine Gospel holds forth, often in private, at length.  This latter understanding of our Lord becomes apparent in this Sunday’s Gospel reading, part of Christ’s great intercessory prayer.

More interesting to me, however, is the concept of eternal life, which, according to John 17:3, is knowing God (the Father) and Jesus Christ (God the Son).  And we read in 1 John 5:11 that “God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”  So eternal life is life in Christ; its definition does not depend on time or the afterlife.

Simply put, there is no eternity without God.  There can be an afterlife without God; the term for that is Hell.  God, of course, is the final judge, and I do not presume to make judgments as to a person’s fate in the afterlife.  Who knows what happens between anyone and Jesus after one dies?

As a Christian–an intellectually honest one–I affirm the necessity of Christ.  I also testify to grace, the bounds of which exceed my imagination.  In other words, God does not fit into any proverbial box, and I try not to put God into one.  I do know a few things for sure, though:  God does exist, God does care about us actively, and I am not God.  Also, the historical person named Jesus of Nazareth was God incarnate.  Three of these four statements are great mysteries; may we accept and embrace them.  As to the non-mysterious statement (“I am not God.”), that is obvious.




Thirty-Sixth Day of Easter: Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year B   21 comments

Above:  A Vineyard

Love of God–For Gentiles

MAY 6, 2018


Acts 10:44-48 (New Revised Standard Version):

While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, for they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said,

Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?

So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.

Psalm 98 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

Sing to the LORD a new song,

for he has done marvelous things.

With his right hand and his holy arm

has he won for himself the victory.

The LORD has made known his victory;

his righteousness has he openly shown in the sight of the nations.

He remembers his mercy and faithfulness to the house of Israel,

and all the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.

Shout with joy to the LORD, all you lands;

lift up your voice, rejoice, and sing.

Sing to the LORD with the harp,

with the harp and the voice of song.

With trumpets and the sound of the horn

shout with joy before the King, the LORD.

Let the sea make a noise and all that is in it,

the lands and those who dwell therein.

Let the rivers clap their hands,

and let the hills ring out with joy before the LORD,

when he comes to judge the earth.

10 In righteousness shall he judge the world

and the peoples with equity.

1 John 5:1-6 (New Revised Standard Version):

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that testifies, for the Spirit is the truth.

John 15:9-17 (New Revised Standard Version):

Jesus said to his disciples,

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

The Collect:

O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Some Related Posts:

Thirty-Sixth Day of Easter:  Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year A:

John 15:


The Gospel reading this week continues the “Jesus as true” vine theme and picks up 1 John’s recurring “love one another” motif.  If all this seems redundant, it is.  But maybe it needs to be repetitive, for we human beings, generally speaking, seem quite often to have a difficult time loving one another.

Jesus, in John 15, says, “Abide in my love.”  This is self-sacrificial, unconditional love.  That is very hard to do, but the commandment stands.  This love, as Peter found out in Acts 10, extends to Gentiles.  God invites all of us to the party.  Some (the predestined) receive their invitations quite early, but the Holy Spirit delivers the invitations to the rest.

I have caught myself embracing embarrassing and sinful attitudes about who is acceptable in my religious inner circle.  But God does not check our pedigrees.  So may we not erect any barrier to anyone who truly and sincerely seeks to follow Christ.  And may God forgive us and give us grace to change our attitudes and ways when we do.

As the old Vacation Bible School song says,

Jesus loves the little children,

all the children of the world.

Red and yellow, black and white,

they are precious in his sight.

Jesus loves the children of the world.