Archive for the ‘Psalm 145’ Tag

Thirty-First Day of Easter   10 comments

Christ Pantocrator

Let Us Be On Our Way

May 17, 2022


Acts 14:19-28 (Revised English Bible):

Then Jews from Antioch and Iconium came on the scene and won over the crowds.  They stoned Paul, and dragged him out of the city, thinking him dead.  The disciples formed a ring around him, and he got to his feet and went into the city.  Next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.

After bringing the good news to that town and gaining many converts, they returned to Lystra, then to Iconium, and then to Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to be true to the faith.  They warned them that to enter the kingdom of God we must undergo many hardships.  They also appointed for them elders in each congregation, and with prayer and fasting committed them to the Lord in whom they had put their trust.

They passed through Pisidia and came into Pamphylia.  When they had delivered the message at Perga, they went down to Attalia, and from there sailed to Antioch, where they had originally been commended to the grace of God for the task which they had now completed.  On arrival there, they called the congregation together and reported all that God had accomplished through them, and how he had thrown open the gates of faith to the Gentiles.  And they stayed for some time with the disciples there.

Psalm 145:8-13 (Revised English Bible):

The LORD is gracious and compassionate,

long-suffering and ever faithful.

The LORD is good to all;

his compassion rests upon all his creatures.

All your creatures praise you, LORD,

and your loyal servants bless you.

They talk of the glory of your kingdom

and tell of your might,

to make known to mankind your mighty deeds,

the glorious majesty of your kingdom.

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,

as your dominion endures throughout all generations.

John 14:27-31 (Anchor Bible):

[Jesus continued,]

‘Peace’ is my farewell to you.  My ‘peace’ is my gift to you, and I do not give it to you as the world gives it.  Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be fearful.  You have heard me tell you, ‘I am going away,’ and ‘I am coming back to you.’  If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.  But now, I have told you even before it happens so that, when it does happen, you may believe.  I shall no longer speak [much] with you, for the Prince of the world is coming.  Actually, he has no hold on me; but the world must recognize that I love the Father and that I do exactly as the Father has commanded me.  Get up!  Let us leave her and be on our way.

The Collect:

O God, you continually increase your Church by the birth of new sons and daughters in Baptism:  Grant that they may be obedient all the days of their life to the rule of faith which they received in that Sacrament; through Jesus Christ our Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.


As you read this devotion know that I wrote in on the evening of Good Friday 2010.  The material is appropriate to that date.  Paul’s evangelistic work put his life at risk, and Jesus was near to his arrest before the crucifixion.  Yet Paul continued with his work and Jesus went along to his fate (but not before speaking at length even more, as John liked to depict him doing).

The Johannine narrative of Jesus has him comforting his apostles, telling them not to let their hearts be troubled, shortly before his apprehension, torture, and execution.  The Jesus of John’s Gospel is in control; he is I AM.  I would be fearful if the might of the Roman Empire were about to fall upon me, and that fear would be rational, given the Empire’s history to that time.  Yet all these facts contribute the power of the Johannine depiction of Jesus.

And the Apostle Paul, after a stoning and near-death, continued with his work.  I might think after a stoning that I would need to find another line of work–something less dangerous–but Paul was a different character.  (Aren’t you glad Paul had as much perseverance as he did?)  Paul rose (with help from his fellow Christians) and went on his way.  Jesus rose and went on his way (with his apostles).  Each person has a vocation or set of vocations from God at any given moment.  When we experience difficulty because of our faithfulness to them we need to gather our strength then rise and go on our way, not give up.  And the support of religious fellow travelers, if available, proves helpful in the journey of faith.


Published originally at SUNDRY THOUGHTS OF KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR on April 6, 2010

Posted October 29, 2010 by neatnik2009 in 2022, Episcopal Church Lectionary, May 17

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Twenty-Fifth Day of Lent   14 comments

A Cat and Her Kittens


Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Collect and lections from the Episcopal Lesser Feasts and Fasts Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints


Follow the assigned readings with me this Lent….

Kenneth Randolph Taylor


Isaiah 49:7-15 (TANAKH: The Holy Scriptures):

Thus says the LORD,

The Redeemer of Israel, the Holy One,

To the despised one,

To the abhorred nations,

To the slave of rulers:

Kings shall see and stand up;

Nobles, and they shall prostrate themselves–

To the honor of the LORD, who is faithful,

To the Holy One of Israel who chose you.

Thus said the LORD:

In an hour of favor I answer you,

And on a day of salvation I help you–

I created you and appointed you a covenant people–

Restoring the land,

Allotting anew the desolate holdings,

Saying to the prisoners, “Go free,”

To those who are in darkness, “Show yourselves.”

They shall pasture along the roads,

On every bare height shall be their pasture.

They shall not hunger of thirst,

Hot wind and sun shall not strike them;

He will guide them to springs of water.

I will make all My mountains a road,

And My highways shall be built up.

Look! These are coming from afar,

These from the north and the west,

And these from the land of Sinim.

Shout, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth!

Break into shouting, O hills!

For the LORD has comforted His people,

And has taken back His afflicted ones in love.

Zion says,

The LORD has forsaken me,

My Lord has forgotten me.

Can a woman forget her baby,

Or disown the child of her womb?

Though she might forget,

I never could forget you.

Psalm 145:8-18 (TANAKH: The Holy Scriptures):

The LORD is gracious and compassionate,

slow to anger and abounding in kindness.

The LORD is good to all,

and His mercy is upon all His works.

All Your works shall praise You, O LORD,

and Your faithful ones shall bless You.

They shall talk of the majesty of Your kingship,

and speak of Your might,

to make His mighty acts known among men

and the majestic glory of His kingship.

Your kingship is an eternal kingship;

Your dominion is for all generations.

The LORD supports all who stumble,

and makes all who are bent stand straight.

The eyes of all look to You expectantly,

and You give them their food when it is due.

You give it openhandedly,

feeding every creature to its heart’s content.

The LORD is beneficent in all His ways

and faithful in all His works.

The LORD is near to all who call Him,

to all who call Him with sincerity.

John 5:19-29 (The New Testament in Modern English–Revised Edition):

Jesus therefore said to them [some Jews],

I solemnly assure you that the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing.  For whatever the Father does the Son does the same.  For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything that he does himself.  Yes, and he will show him even greater things than these to fill you with wonder.  For just as the Father raises the dead and makes them live, so does the Son give life to any man he chooses.  The Father is no man’ s judge; he has put judgment entirely in the Son’s hands, so that all men may honour the Son equally with the Father.  The man who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent him.  I solemnly assure you that the man who hears what I have to say and believes in the one who has sent me has eternal life.  He does not have to face judgment; he has already passed from death into life.  Yes, I assure you that a time is coming, in fact has already come, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who have heard it will live!  For just as the Father has life in himself, so by the Father’s gift, the Son also has live in himself.  And he has given him authority to judge because he is Son of Man.  No, do not be surprised–the time is coming when all those who are dead and buried will hear his voice and they will come–those who have done right will rise again to life, but those who have done wrong will rise to face judgment!

The Collect:

O Lord our God, you sustained your ancient people in the wilderness with bread from heaven: Feed now your pilgrim flock with the food that endures to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.


My theme this day is eternal life.

In the reading handed down by (Second) Isaiah exile of Judah is nearing its end.  And God expresses love and forgiveness for the descendants of those who went into exile.  The dominant (and retrospective) theology of much of the Hebrew Bible is that sin led to exiles.  God has forgiven the people, and is pulling strings to bring about a resettlement in the homeland.  I love the concluding words:  “I never could forget you.”

This day’s reading from John follows directly on the heels of the previous day’s gospel lection.  (And the next day’s reading from John will follow this one immediately.)  So, recall that Jesus had just healed a man on the Sabbath, and received criticism because of his timing.  Then he referred to God as his Father, which some construed as blasphemy.  Who did Jesus think he was, to speak of God in such familiar (and equal) terms?

He was (and is) the Second Person of the Trinity.  And his authority flows from the First Person.

Verse 24 uses the term “eternal life.”  In verse 24 anyone who internalizes the teachings of Jesus and trusts in God has eternal life.  This is the present tense, not the future tense.  This is consistent with John 17:3:  “And this is eternal life, to know you, the only true God, and him whom you have sent–Jesus Christ.”

Father Raymond E. Brown, the Roman Catholic priest and great Bible scholar, wrote two thick volumes on the Gospel of John for The Anchor Bible series.  His first volume contains appendices, one of which includes a detailed explanation of eternal life on pages 505-508.  Anyone who wishes to read Brown’s analysis in full should consult those pages.  The essence follows:  Eternal life is “the life by which God Himself lives, and which the Son of God possesses from the Father.”  The Son became incarnate to give eternal life to human beings.  The Holy Spirit, which can be given only after the Son has conquered death, breathes eternal life after the Son has conquered death.  Before that happened, Jesus breathed eternal life in person.  Eternal life is associated with the waters of baptism and nourished by the body and blood of Jesus received during the Holy Eucharist.  Eternal life begins during this natural life and continues after natural life ends.  Thus eternal life is not everlasting life.

Being a stickler for details, such as definitions, I chafe when I hear people say “eternal”  and “eternity” when they mean “everlasting.” Hell is everlasting, but Heaven is eternal.

Think about this:  There is no eternal life apart from God.  There is no eternity apart from God.  God cannot forget us; may we not forget God.


Written on March 1, 2010