Showing posts from December, 2016

The Baptism of Our Lord, 8 January 2017

The Baptism of Our Lord, 8 January 2017 Isaiah 42:1-9 Psalm 29 Acts 10:34-43 Saint Matthew 3:13-17 Background: The Dove The dove as a religious symbol appears in many of the religions of the Ancient Near East, signifying or associated with the various fertility goddesses Atargatis, Ishtar, Astarte, and Aphrodite. In the Gilgamesh Epic as in the Noah story of the Hebrew Scriptures, a dove is released to find land. It is in the Talmud that we first begin to see the association of the dove with the Spirit of God, although in subsequent Jewish literature the dove is associated with the human soul. In the Matthean baptismal account, Jesus is blessed through an appearance of a dove, which lights on his shoulder and is followed by the Voice, which announces Jesus as “beloved Son”. Mark and Luke also share the imagery of the dove, and also the connection with the Voice – an evocation of the connection of the mighty wind ( ru’ah – spirit) in the Ge

The Most Holy Name of Jesus, 1 January 2017

The Most Holy Name of Jesus, 1 January 2017 Numbers 6:22-27 Psalm 8 Galatians 4:4-7 or Philippians 2:5-11 Saint Luke 2:15-21 Background: The Name “Jesus”          Not as familiar to Christians is the name “Yehoshua”, which me might recognize in its English transliteration as “Joshua”, which is the name from which the name “Jesus” is derived. This comes to us from the Greek and Latin forms of the name.   Another form of the name, “Yeshua” seems to have been used in Judea around the time of Jesus. The name seems to mean, “YHWH is salvation”, and like a great number of Hebrew names not only refers to God, but acts or attributes of God as well. In daily life, Jesus would have normally been referred to in relationship to others or to places. Thus we hear of him as “Jesus of Nazareth” or “Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth,” or even as “the carpenter’s son”. Larger family references are known as well, such as “the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James