Showing posts from November, 2018

The First Sunday in Advent, 3 December 2018

The   First Sunday in Advent, 2 December 2018 Jeremiah 33:14-16 Psalm 25:1-9 I Thessalonians 3:9-13 St. Luke 21:25-36 Background: Apocalyptic in the Gospels In order to understand the development of apocalyptic materials in the Gospels, we need to understand the environment in the first or second century BCE. The recent readings from Daniel help us to get a feel for what these writers were up against. It helps when we hear certain commentators speak about this literature as “crisis literature”.  In having visions about making the whole of reality, the cosmos, right again. Some of this comes from the influence of Persian dualism – the forces of evil against the forces of right. Soon that actuality became quite real in the world of the Seleucid kings, and then the Romans. Jews did think that their world had been compromised and needed to be redeemed. It is in this world understanding that Jesus arrives, and in which the literature about him was written. So, i

The Feast of Christ the King, The Last Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 29, 25 November 2018

The Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 27, 11 November 2018 II Samuel 23:1-7 Psalm 132:1-13 (14-19) Or Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14 Psalm 93 Revelation 1:4b-8 St. John 18:33-37 Background: Kingship Oddly enough, the kingship of Egypt and of the Mesopotamian states was far more theological in concept than tht of the Hebrews. The Egyptian Pharaoh was in a very real sense god in the person of the pharaoh, and in Mesopotamia, kings were the chosen servants of the gods. In Israel it was a matter of blood relationship from one king to the next. The cultural institutions of the Levant were derivative of Mesopotamian thought but the Sea Peoples and the Hebrews stamped those cultic and civic institutions with their own thought and originality. One of those ideas was rulership by descent, a tribal understanding. Hebrew kingship was a institution given of local initiative – and we see the arguments and process in the books of Samuel. In Babylon kingship insur