Showing posts from November, 2012

The First Sunday of Advent - 2 December 2012

The First Sunday in Advent - 2 December 2012 Jeremiah 33:14-16 Psalm 25:1-9 I Thessalonians 3:19-13 Saint Luke 21:25-36        Background: Advent What a troublesome season this is, with nearly everyone either misunderstanding it, or totally ignoring it.   In American culture, the season is only observed in the liturgical churches, with the society having already launched itself into the trappings of Christmas well before Thanksgiving.   Even for those who observe it, however, there is a gross misunderstanding of its purpose.   It is there not to prepare for Christmas.   It is there to encourage us to wait, longingly wait, for the second coming of our Lord – and that perhaps is the problem.   Do we want to see the Christ come again?   The countdown of time, helped with the Advent Wreath and lesser so by the so-called Advent Calendars, make us aware of our place in time, and our yearning for completion and fulfillment.   We will in the coming week

Christ the King - the Last Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 29 - 25 November 2012

Christ the King, The Last Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 27 - 25 November 2012 Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 Psalm 93 Revelation 1:4b-8 Saint John 18:33-37        Background: The Day of the Lord There is a field of study in Biblical Literature referred to as “eschatology” – it is a study of the “last things”.   The name comes from the Greek word eschatos, the last, inferring the last things of an era of history.   Both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures have distinct eschatological references, with the Hebrew or Prophetic references centering on the Land, and the continuance of Israel.   The prophets often describe a pattern of behavior and response (Israel covenants with God, Israel is unfaithful to the covenant, God punishes, Israel returns) that is best seen in the “Day of the Lord.”   Such a day, when God is seen in full power and might, exacting God’s will upon Israel, or upon her enemies, was first seen in the writings of Amos, with the Is

The Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 28 - 18 November 2012

The Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 28 - 18 November 2012 Daniel 12:1-3 Psalm 16 Hebrews 10-11-25 St. Mark 13:1-8                                                                                     Background:  Daniel Daniel exists as a character known to Ezekiel, and as another character of heroic legend used by whoever wrote or compiled what we know as the Book of Daniel.  Most likely, the book was written in the second century BCE during the period of time that Palestine was ruled by the Hellenic Seleucid Kings, especially Antiochus Epiphanes (175 – 164 BCE).  The book is comprised of three sections: a) Daniel and the Babylonian Kings (Chapters 1-6), b) Tales of Daniel (Chapters 7-12, and c) Appendices (Chapters 13-14).  The material in the first section places the hero in the court of the Babylonian kings where he resists the temptation to adopt Babylonian living and religion.  This actually serves as a warning against the Helle