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Showing posts from September, 2016

The Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 22, 2 October 2016

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The Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 22, 2 October 2016 Track One: Lamentations 1:1-6 Lamentations 3:19-26, or Psalm 137
Track 2 Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4 Psalm 37:1-10
II Timothy 1:1-14 Saint Luke 17:5-10


Background: The Oracle
Often we will have readings from one of the prophets, which will declaim a message from God, or even an oracle from the prophet himself, or from a leader, such as king David.Oracles are not unique to the Hebrew Prophets, and we have examples from early on of ecstatic women in Mari, or later in Assyria and Egypt. The whole of the Mediterranean basin seems to have been home to a culture of oracle bearing men and women who served as messengers of the God. Thus in both Roman and Greek culture these oracles (both the speakers and the prophetic material itself) were held to be of great value. In 83 BCE, the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill burned down, and with it the Sibylline Oracles. They were of such value that in 76 BCE, the Roman Senate sent out deputies to …

The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 21, 25 September 2016

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The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 21, 25 September 2016 Track One: Jeremiah 32:1-3a,6-15 Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16
Track Two: Amos 6:1a, 4-7 Psalm 146
I Timothy 6:6-19 Saint Luke 16:19-31


Background: The Gospel of Prosperity Given the texts for today (and last Sunday for that matter) it might be good to look at the so-called “Gospel of Prosperity,” and its influence on American life.To get a good background, you might want to read Russell Conwell’s sermon “Acres of Diamonds,” or Andrew Carnegie’s “Gospel of Wealth”. A quote from the Carnegie piece concludes this background section below. In our own time it is Joel Osteen who has taken this nineteenth century notion and made it available to the contemporary American public. Its transmission to us was largely through the Pentecostalist healing crusades of the last Century. Oral Roberts was one such transmitter of this theology. Common to these theologies is a covenant-based understanding that God will provide blessings (material and healing…