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Showing posts from February, 2017

Ash Wednesday, 1 March 2017

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Ash Wednesday, 1 March 2017 Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 or Isaiah 58:1-12 Psalm 103 or 103:8-14 II Corinthians 5:20b-6:10 Saint Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21


Background: Penance
The practice of penance, a repentance of sins, hovers around several interpretation among Roman Catholics, the Orthodox, Anglicans and Lutherans. The controversy that surrounds the use of “good works” and the role of “faith” among catholic and protestant theologians is the cause for the inexact identification as to its sacramental or non-sacramental nature. Amongst the orthodox, Confession is seen as an admission to Christ about one’s state of sin, with the priest serving as a witness and advisor. Anglicans have long had rites that allowed for confession and absolution in the Book of Common Prayer. It was not without controversy, however, especially during the latter half of the nineteenth century with the reaction to the tractarians and their restoration of “catholic” practice. Lutherans see in repentance an act of contrition and an …

The Last Sunday after the Epiphany, 26 February 2017

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The Last Sunday after the Epiphany, 26 February 2017 Exodus 24:12-18 Psalm 2 or Psalm 99 II Peter 1:16-21 Saint Matthew 17:1-9


Background: Theophanies
Not peculiar to Hebrew culture in particular, theophanies are found throughout ancient near eastern culture and classical culture as well. The first theophany that we are aware of is in the Gilgamesh Epic where Utnapishtim receives advance warning of the flood from an appearance of Ea. There also examples of theophanies in the classical period and in the literature from that period. The Greek theophany is more centered about the revelation of an image, such as the ceremonies surrounding the return of Apollo in the spring. There are other examples in Roman and Greek mystery religions.
In the Hebrew Scriptures, theophanies are a revelation of God to a human being, as to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:9-19, or Noah in Genesis 6:13. Some of these visions are of a general nature, while some are more intimate. The vision given to prophets falls in the …