Showing posts from February, 2011

The Eighth Sunday after the Epiphany - 27 February 2011

Epiphany VIII Isaiah 49:8-16a Psalm 131 I Corinthians 54:1-5 Saint Matthew 6:24-34 John Singer Sargent - "Prophetic Frieze" BACKGROUND – Prophets III The Hebrew word nabi (prophet) is probably a “loan word” from the Akkadian word for “sent one” or “one made to speak”.   To whom was this word applied?   Initially it is applied to Moses, and secondarily to his brother Aaron, and to his sister Miriam.   To understand what was initially meant by the term, a look at Numbers 11:24-30 will be helpful.   In these verses we can get an idea of what the so-called “ecstatic prophets” were like.   These individuals, and groups of individuals used music, and dance to set up a circumstance of ecstasy to deliver a message of patriotism and loyalty to God.   See Exodus 15:20-21 for the example of Miriam’s prophetic behavior at the Red Sea.   Later on, this term, will take on other meanings.   In the time of Moses, however, (and we must remind ourselves that this is a “

By Request: George Herbert's "Holy Communion"

In my sermon for the Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany , I quoted George Herbert's Poem on the Holy Communion.  Several asked for the complete version, which I am supplying here: N Ot in rich furniture, or fine aray,                      Nor in a wedge of gold,                      Thou, who for me wast sold,            To me dost now thy self convey; For so thou should’st without me still have been,                      Leaving within me sinne: But by the way of nourishment and strength                      Thou creep’st into my breast;                      Making thy way my rest,            And thy small quantities my length; Which spread their forces into every part,                      Meeting sinnes force and art. Yet can these not get over to my soul,                      Leaping the wall that parts                      Our souls and fleshy hearts;            But as th’ outworks, they may controll My rebel-flesh, and carrying thy name,       

The Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany - 20 February 2011

The Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18 Psalm 119:33-40 I corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23 Saint Mathew 5:38-48                                                                                         BACKGROUND Readings from the Book of Leviticus in the Eucharistic Lectionary are limited to two Sundays, both in Ordinary Time, and consisting, largely, of the same reading.   It might be a good time, therefore to uncover this book for us.   In this day and age, Leviticus enters into the conversation largely to mine its comments on sexual purity, so some may predisposed to dismiss at a source of guidance or wisdom.   The roots of Leviticus are apparent in both its name and in its content, consisting largely of rules and regulations regarding the Levitical priesthood and the nations quest for holiness.   Passed down from the earliest of times, the material was shaped by numerous redactors and commentators, and comes to us from a post-exilic hand whose purpos