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Showing posts from February, 2014

The Last Sunday after the Epiphany, 2 March 2014

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The Last Sunday after the Epiphany, 2 March 2014 Exodus 24:12-18 Psalm 2 or Psalm 99 II Peter 1:16-21 St. Matthew 17:1-9



Background:Sacred Mountains
I just finished reading Joan Breton Connelly’s excellent book The Parthenon Enigma – a new understanding of the West’s most iconic building and the people who made it.[1]Her first chapter is entitled “The Sacred Rock – the Myth and Power of Place.”It was not only in the ancient near east that mountains captured the spiritual imagination of people, but throughout the entire world men and women have found something divine in the heights of the mountains.Perhaps people moving from above Lake Van into the Greek islands and Tigris – Euphrates river valley retained ancient memories of the mountains and rekindled their old stories as they built artificial mountains (the ziggurat) in the flat plains of Mesopotamia, and honored the Acropolis and Olympus as places where gods touched the earth.Such places were known to the people of Israel as well, and in…

The Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany, 23 February 2014

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The Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany, 23 February 2014 Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18 Psalm 119:33-40 He I Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23 St. Matthew 5:38-48

Background: Leviticus
Readings from Leviticus in the Revised Common Lectionary are rare indeed.Of the two citations, one for Year A, Epiphany VII, and the other for Year A, Proper 25, the both are virtually the same citation, the Epiphany reading being a bit more complete than the other.It might be good then to look at the background of Leviticus and its role in the Torah and in the Lectionary since we encounter it not at all often.The book represents a cusp of sorts ending the engaging narratives of Genesis and Exodus and giving pause before the wanderings of Israel continue in the Book of Numbers.Its position suggests an antiquity that is probably not there, at least in its current form.That is not to say that ancient materials are not present, but the book probably comes from the post-exilic period (ca. 538 BCE), with revisions and edits large…