Showing posts from February, 2015

The Second Sunday in Lent, 1 March 2015

The Second Sunday in Lent, 1 March 2015 Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 Psalm 22:22-30 Romans 4:13-25 St. Mark 8:31-38 Background: Covenant This is one of those terms that we assume that people know and understand. However, with the lack of biblical studies in general, such an assumption is probably wrong, and people need to be reminded of the import of such a concept. The notion of covenant appears in several aspects in both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures. The first of the covenants to be described in the Bible is the covenant with Noah ( last Sunday’s first reading .) In the story of the flood, God reveals his covenant with Noah not only with words, but also with the sign of the Rainbow. Other covenants follow, with Abraham, Moses, “the new covenant” of Jeremiah, the so-called “Priestly Covenant” made with Aaron and his descendants, the Davidic covenant, and finally the covenant of the Kingdom of Heaven, described by Jesus. All of these agreements have deep roots in

The First Sunday in Lent, 22 February 2015

The First Sunday in Lent, 22 February 2015 Genesis 9:8-17 Psalm 25:1-9 I Peter 3:18-22 St. Mark 1:9-15 Background: 40 The number 40 appears both in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures several times, and it is not unknown in Islamic writings, or other writings of the ancient near east. Like most numbers in the Bible it is of a symbolic character rather than being an exact number. One commentator said that you could loosely translate the number as “umpteen.” In other words, the number represents a large number of significance. That aside, the number is assigned to significant events in both of the testaments: The Rain at the time of the flood (40 days and 40 nights), The Wanderings of Israel in the Wilderness (40 years), The Exploration of Canaan by the Spies (40 days), Moses’ life is divided into 3 forty year segments, Moses on Mount Sinai (40 days and 40 nights), Jesus in the Wilderness after his Baptism (40 days and 40 nights), Days from the Resurrection to the