Posts

The Seventh Sunday of Easter, 16 May 2021

Image
  The Seventh Sunday of Easter, 16 May 2021   Acts 1:15-17, 21-26  Psalm 1 1 John 5:9-13 John 17:6-19   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.     Background: The Collect   This prayer which ends the Entrance Rite of the Liturgy has both ancient and modern roots. In the Anglican and Lutheran liturgies, the collects are translations of the ancient Roman texts. Over time, however, the Romans have added new texts, and the Lutherans have added collects to match the increased number of lectionary readings in the three-year lectionary. Collects are also used in the Orthodox, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches as well. Their value to those preaching and proclaiming is the

The Sixth Sunday of Easter, 9 May 2021

Image
  The Sixth Sunday of Easter, 9 May 2021   Acts 10:44-48 Psalm 98 1 John 5:1-6 John 15:9-17   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.   Background: Glossolalia   Speaking in tongues is not unique to the Christian experience as it was a common notion in the classical world. The thought was that divine beings were capable of languages different from the language that humans spoke. Such speech is also tied to the experience of prophetic ecstatic speech. The Greek philosopher Iamblichus saw a connection between such speech in tongues and prophetic speech, likening it to possession by a divine spirit. Not all classical philosophers honored such spe

The Fifth Sunday of Easter, 2 May 2021

Image
  The Fifth Sunday of Easter, 2 May 2021 Acts 8:26-40 Psalm 22:24-30 I John 4:7-21 St. John 15:1-8   The Collect   Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.     Background: Eunuchs   Eunuchs were known throughout the ancient world, and well into the modern world. Some were neutered to diminish their influence with higher ups, to render them less of threat in the harem, or to give them that child-like voice that was so beloved in the Baroque era. In the political sense, these men were seen as more trustworthy, not bound by family ties. In ancient Greece, the eunuch was not always the function of the removal of organs but could be one who abstained from procreation. Some