Showing posts from May, 2010

The Second Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 5), 6 June 2010

The Readings for The Second Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 5) I Kings 17:17-24 Psalm 30 Galatians 1:11-24 Saint Luke 7:11-17                                                                                                                          Elijah is met in the desert by an angel BACKGROUND What does one do when all the promises seem to be forgotten, when institutions fail, and when people are removed from their homeland?  This is the problem that the editors of I and II Kings dealt with.  They wished to explain the destruction of the temple and the military success of the Babylonians in a way that would not negate their faith in the God of Israel.  What we are given here is a history of the United Kingdom (under David and Solomon) and then a history of the kings of Judah.  Similar material is found in I and II Chronicles, but the Kings material is earlier and more reliable.  Kings is written from a royalist/prophetic point of view, while Chronicles is written

Trinity Sunday, The First Sunday after Pentecost, 30 May 2010

Trinity Sunday, The First Sunday after Pentecost, 30 May 2010 The Readings for Trinity Sunday Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31 Psalm 8 Romans 5:1-5 Saint John 16:12-15 BACKGROUND Most festivals in the Christian liturgical calendar celebrate events, either from the life of our Lord, or of our Lady, as well.   This particular Sunday celebrates a doctrine, and it is a rather recent innovation.   Prior to the 13 th Century, readings were added to the Daily Office (Morning Prayer and Evensong) that emphasized the Holy Trinity.   In part this was a response to Arianism (a non-Trinitarian theology espoused in the fourth century), and it was particular popular in Frankish dioceses.   John XXII (14 th Century) added it as a second-class feast of the Church, and in 1911, Pius X made it a first class feast.   Thomas Becket (1118-1170) was consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury on the first Sunday following Pentecost, and in honor of that event stipulated that the day from then on shou

The Day of Pentecost, 23 May 2010

The Readings for the Day of Pentecost Acts 2:1-21 or Genesis 11:1-9 Psalm 104:25-35, 37b Romans 8:14-17 Saint John 14:8-17, 25-27 BACKGROUND This festival stems from both Jewish and Christian roots.   The Jewish festival of Pentecost (literally Greek for “fiftieth) was called Shavuot , which celebrated the giving of the Law upon Sinai fifty days following the Exodus from Egypt.   It was for this festival that so many people were gathered in Jerusalem, which gave occasion for Peter’s sermon, the Descent of the Holy Spirit, and the conversion of early Christians.   Pentecost, in Christian usage, is fifty days after Easter Day, and like Easter it shares a baptismal emphasis and practice.   This may we one of the reasons that the Day also carries the name “Whitsunday”, in honor of the white robes worn by the newly baptized.   Others think that the name derived from “Wit” or “Knowledge”, a celebration of the wisdom that the Spirit gives.   The color for the Day is red, and in many coun