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Showing posts from March, 2019

The Fourth Sunday in Lent, 31 March 2019

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TheFourth Sunday in Lent, 31 March 2019
Joshua 5:9-12 Psalm 32 II Corinthians 5:16-21 St. Luke 15:1-1, 11b-32


Background: Repentance
Martin Luther took a phrase from Augustine of Hippo to use as a description of sin – incurvatus in se. It is an image of one literally turned in upon oneself – a kind of selfishness that does not see God or the other. This image is useful as we begin to talk about repentance, which is really a description of the opposite kind of direction. The Greek word describes it perfectly – metanoia. This word, a compound, has two elements: meta –after, and noia – thinking, perceiving, observing, thus a “change of mind” a turning from one thing to another. There is something of the same feel in the Hebrew, where two words represent the notion: shuv – to return, and nacham– to feel sorrow. These two ideas are represented in the Confessio Augustana (The Augsburg Confession – Lutheran confessional document) when it describes repentance as having two aspects. The first is con…

The Third Sunday in Lent, 24 March 2019

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TheThird Sunday in Lent, 24 March 2019
Exodus 3:1-15 Psalm 63:1-8 I Corinthians 10:1-13 St. Luke 13:1-9


Background: The Name of God 
In Hebrew, God is primarily known in one of two ways. References are to “El” or sometimes to a plural form “Elohim”, suggesting strength or power. Actually, the short version as probably a borrowing from Canaanite neighbors. The distinctive name that the Hebrews used was the unpronounceable YHWH, “I am that I am”, or “Ehyeh – Asher – Ehyeh” (I-Will-Be-Who-I-Will-Be).[1]When encountered in the text of the scriptures, the reader would not pronounce the name but would rather substitute “Adonai” or “Lord”. Even to this day, readers or those speaking of G-d may use the word “HaShem” or “the Name.” For an example of this usage, see Leviticus 24:11, “And the son of the Israelite woman invoked the Name, vilifying it.”[2]