Devotion for the Fourth Sunday of Easter (Ackerman)   2 comments

Above:  The Good Shepherd

Image in the Public Domain

Good and Bad Shepherds

APRIL 22, 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:

Ezekiel 34:25-31

Psalm 28

1 Timothy 4:6-16

Luke 15:4-10

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On the Revised Common Lectionary the Fourth Sunday of Easter is Good Shepherd Sunday.   David Ackerman’s Beyond the Lectionary (2013) continues this custom.

Shepherd is a sufficiently common metaphor for monarch in the Hebrew Bible that serious students should not be surprised to encounter it.  In Ezekiel 34 the bad shepherds are Kings of Judah who have ignored the Law of Moses, practiced and condemned idolatry, presided over economic exploitation, and generally harmed the people.   Toward the end of the lifespan of the Kingdom of Judah some of the last kings are about to experience the just desserts the author of Psalm 28 sought for his enemies.

In contrast to the bad shepherds of Ezekiel 34 we find Jesus in Luke 15 and St. Timothy in 1 Timothy 4.  Pastors are shepherds too, after all, and sound teaching matters greatly.  In the temporal context of 1 Timothy 4, when certain doctrines we Christians of today take for granted were developing and others did not exist yet, the definition of sound teaching depended more on oral tradition than it does today–on written sources and established creeds.  Some of the particulars of 1 Timothy are culturally specific, but one can identify timeless principles behind those examples.  As for Jesus, he is the good shepherd who seeks everyone, although not all lost sheep will repent.

May leaders seek and effect the best interests of the people, by grace.  These might be political, institutional, or religious leaders, but all of them are shepherds.  May they be good shepherds.  Whenever any are bad shepherds, may they repent and become good shepherds.  If, however, they insist on being bad shepherds, may good shepherds replace them.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 13, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN DAVID JAESCHKE, GERMAN MORAVIAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER; AND HIS GRANDSON, HENRI MARC HERMANN VOLDEMAR VOULLAIRE, MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND MINISTER

THE FEAST OF MILTON SMITH LITTLEFIELD, JR., U.S. PRESBYTERIAN AND CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMNAL EDITOR

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT, U.S. POET, JOURNALIST, AND HYMN WRITER

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/good-and-bad-shepherds-2/

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Devotion for the Third Sunday of Easter (Ackerman)   2 comments

Above:  David and Jonathan, by Rembrandt van Rijn

Image in the Public Domain

Loyalty and Self-Sacrifice

APRIL 15, 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:

1 Samuel 20:12-23, 35-42

Psalm 18:46-50

Acts 4:13-22

John 21:20-25

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The Living Bible (1971) renders 1 Samuel 20:30-31 as follows:

Saul boiled over with rage.  “You son of a bitch!” he yelled at him.  “Do you think I don’t know that you want that son of a nobody to be king in your place, shaming yourself and your mother?  As long as this fellow is alive, you’ll never be king.  Now go and get him so I can kill him!

Later printings of The Living Bible changed “You son of a bitch!’ to “You fool!”  The original rendering captured the flavor of the Hebrew text well, for King Saul was cursing.  In verse 30, in fact, he referred to genitals, although many English-language translations have not reflected that subtlety.

A more common translation is one such as in TANAKH:  The Holy Scriptures (1985):

You son of a perverse, rebellious woman!

Yet scholars agree that Jonathan, not his mother, was the object of the swearing, hence the Everett Fox version:

[You] son of a twisted rebellion!

The Early Prophets (2014), page 378

Via that “twisted rebellion” Jonathan stood by his friend (David) while ensuring that he (Jonathan), the heir apparent to the throne, would not become King of Israel.  Jonathan exemplified loyalty and self-sacrifice.

So did St. Simon Peter (eventually crucified upside-down) and St. John the Evangelist (who spent time in exile).  They performed great deeds, to the glory of God and the benefits of others, and found themselves in legal jeopardy.  But they persisted.

May we be loyal to God and willing to pay the price that might demand of us.  May we glorify God, regardless of circumstances.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 13, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN DAVID JAESCHKE, GERMAN MORAVIAN ORGANIST AND COMPOSER; AND HIS GRANDSON, HENRI MARC HERMANN VOLDEMAR VOULLAIRE, MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND MINISTER

THE FEAST OF MILTON SMITH LITTLEFIELD, JR., U.S. PRESBYTERIAN AND CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, HYMN WRITER, AND HYMNAL EDITOR

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT, U.S. POET, JOURNALIST, AND HYMN WRITER

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/loyalty-and-self-sacrifice/

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Devotion for the Second Season of Easter (Ackerman)   2 comments

Above:  Icon of Sts. Simon Peter and Paul

Image in the Public Domain

Qualifying the Called

APRIL 8, 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 5:22-6:13; 7:1-6

Psalm 18:1-6

Acts 3:1-10

Matthew 28:11-15

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God is more powerful than any empire or state–in this case, ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire.  Furthermore, human stubbornness is no obstacle for God.  Consider, O reader, the Pharaoh (whichever one he was) and Moses.  In the narrative of the Book of Exodus God overpowers the Pharaoh and sends Aaron to be the spokesman for Moses.

This segue brings me to my next point:  We can trust God, who will empower us to fulfill our divine vocations.  As an old saying tells us, God does not call the qualified.  No, God qualifies the called.  Consider, O reader, Sts. John the Evangelist and Simon Peter in Acts 3.  Compare them in that passage to their depictions in the Gospel of Luke, the first volume of Luke-Acts.  Also compare them in Acts 3 to their depictions in the Gospel of Mark, in which they were more clueless than in Luke.  As of Acts 3 the two had eaten their spiritual Wheaties, so to speak.

What is God calling and qualifying you, O reader, to do?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 12, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF EDWIN PAXTON HOOD, ENGLISH CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, PHILANTHROPIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF ENMEGAHBOWH, EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT FREDERICK OF UTRECHT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP AND MARTYR; AND SAINT ODULF OF UTRECHT, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY PRIEST

THE FEAST OF JOHN MORISON, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, POET, AND HYMN WRITER

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/qualifying-the-called/

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Devotion for Easter Sunday (Ackerman)   2 comments

Books and a Globe, from the Library, St. Gregory the Great Episcopal Church, Athens, Georgia, June 9, 2017

Photograph by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

God’s Work, Our Task

APRIL 1, 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:

2 Kings 4:18-20, 32-37

Isaiah 52:1-2

Acts 13:26-31

Mark 16:9-20

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In the lessons for this day, we read of different forms of death and resurrection to life.

The Shunammite widow’s son was essential to her well-being in that patriarchal society, in which widows and orphans were particularly vulnerable.  The revivification of the son by God via the prophet Elisha was for the benefit of both mother and son.

The death of the Kingdom of Judah and the ensuing Babylonian Exile was traumatic.  The exile did end, however, albeit without the restoration of the kingdom.  Indeed, the realities of life after the conclusion of the exile did not march the promises recorded in scripture.  The Jews lived under foreign rule in a poor province, after all.  Eventually Judea experienced independence for about a century, but then the Romans came.  The Jews of Palestine lived in exile at home.

The resurrection of Jesus was a game changer.  Without it we Christians would have a dead Jesus and would be the most pitiable people anywhere (1 Corinthians 15:19).  Yet Jesus did not remain on the Earth for long afterward.  No, he gave his followers a mandate.

The work of God is properly our task as human beings.  We have orders to love sacrificially, build each other up, and care for each other’s needs.  We have commands to share the good news of the Incarnation via Jesus and of his saving life, death, and resurrection.  I do not pretend to grasp the full meaning of Jesus being the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), but I affirm that the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus play crucial parts in that truth.

May we, by grace, being glory to God, draw people to Christ, and strengthen others in their faith.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 11, 2017 COMMON ERA

TRINITY SUNDAY, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT BARNABAS THE APOSTLE, COWORKER OF SAINT PAUL THE APOSTLE

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2017/06/11/gods-work-our-task/

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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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