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Showing posts from August, 2015

The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 17, 30 August 2015

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The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 17, 30 August 2015 Song of Solomon 2:8-13 Psalm 45:1-2, 7-10 Or Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9 Psalm 15 James 1:17-27 St. Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23


Background: The Holiness Code Although the Holiness Code refers to a specific section of the Book of Leviticus (see Leviticus 17-26) the general tenor of the Law commends this as a good place to understand the purity laws of Judaism, which Laws both Moses and Jesus make comment on. The breadth of the Holiness Code covers a multitude of things: the sacred nature of blood, sexual behaviors, general behavior, punishment for sins, the purity of priests, holy days and Passover, Pentecost, New Year’s Day, the Day of Atonement, the Feast of Booths,Aspects of the Tabernacle/Temple, the Sabbatical Year, the Jubilee Year and its customs, and finally what comes with obedience to the Law, and disobedience as well (Blessings and Curses). These provisions have a special interest in the political and religious conversations o…

The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 16, 23 August 2015

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The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 16, 23 August 2015 I Kings 8:1, 6, 10-11, 22-30, 41-43 Psalm 84 Or Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18 Psalm 34:15-22
Ephesians 6:10-20 St. John 6:59-69


Background: The Covenant Stemming from the covenants that marked everyday life in the Ancient Near East, the biblical covenants were also influenced by the form of the Hittite Treaty. All of them acknowledge the relative status of each of the parties, and the consequences of meeting or not meeting the provisos of the agreement. We see this in the “blessings and curses” that are found in the Bible, the latest of which was Luke’s version of Beatitudes, where the “Happy is” is contrasted with the “Woe to”. There are several covenants in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Noahic (see Genesis 9:8-17), the several covenants made with Abraham (see Genesis 12, 15, and 17). It is the Mosaic covenant (see Exodus 19-24), however, that not only guides the history of Israel, but also continues to guide western civilization to a grea…