Archive for the ‘Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Lectionary Year C’ Category

Guide to Ordinary Time Devotions in December 2018   1 comment

Above:  Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri

Image in the Public Domain

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Saturday, December 1:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-first-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/devotion-for-december-1-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/week-of-proper-29-thursday-friday-and-saturday-year-2/

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Guide to Ordinary Time Devotions in November 2018   1 comment

Above:  Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston, Massachusetts

Image in the Public Domain

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The Feast of All Saints:  November 1:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/feast-of-all-saints-november-1/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/devotion-for-all-saints-day-year-d/

Thursday, November 1:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/devotion-for-thursday-before-proper-26-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/devotion-for-november-1-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/week-of-proper-25-wednesday-year-2-and-week-of-proper-25-thursday-year-2/

The Feast of All Souls:  November 2:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/feast-of-all-souls-november-2/

Friday, November 2:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/devotion-for-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-26-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/devotion-for-november-2-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/week-of-proper-25-friday-year-2-and-week-of-proper-25-saturday-year-2/

Saturday, November 3:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/04/devotion-for-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-26-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/devotion-for-november-3-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/week-of-proper-25-friday-year-2-and-week-of-proper-25-saturday-year-2/

PROPER 26:  THE TWENTY-FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B:  NOVEMBER 4, 2018:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/devotion-for-proper-26-ackerman/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/12/20/devotion-for-proper-26-year-d/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/proper-26-year-b/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/devotion-for-november-4-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Monday, November 5:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/05/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-proper-26-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/devotion-for-november-5-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/week-of-proper-26-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-year-2/

Tuesday, November 6:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/05/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-proper-26-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/devotion-for-november-6-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/week-of-proper-26-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-year-2/

Wednesday, November 7:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/05/devotion-for-wednesday-after-proper-26-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/devotion-for-november-7-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/week-of-proper-26-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-year-2/

Thursday, November 8:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/devotion-for-thursday-before-proper-27-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/devotion-for-november-8-and-9-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/week-of-proper-26-thursday-year-2-and-week-of-proper-26-friday-year-2/

Friday, November 9:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/devotion-for-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-27-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/devotion-for-november-8-and-9-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/week-of-proper-26-thursday-year-2-and-week-of-proper-26-friday-year-2/

Saturday, November 10:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/devotion-for-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-27-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/devotion-for-november-10-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/week-of-proper-26-saturday-year-2/

PROPER 27:  THE TWENTY-FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B:  NOVEMBER 11, 2018:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/devotion-for-proper-27-ackerman/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/devotion-for-proper-27-year-d/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/10/proper-27-year-b/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/devotion-for-november-11-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Monday, November 12:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-27-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/devotion-for-november-12-and-13-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/week-of-proper-27-monday-year-2/

Tuesday, November 13:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-27-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/devotion-for-november-12-and-13-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/week-of-proper-27-tuesday-year-2-and-week-of-proper-27-wednesdayyear-2/

Wednesday, November 14:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-27-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/devotion-for-november-14-15-and-16-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/week-of-proper-27-tuesday-year-2-and-week-of-proper-27-wednesdayyear-2/

Thursday, November 15:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-28-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/devotion-for-november-14-15-and-16-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/week-of-proper-27-thursday-year-2/

Friday, November 16:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-28-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/devotion-for-november-14-15-and-16-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/week-of-proper-27-friday-year-2-and-week-of-proper-27-saturday-year-2/

Saturday, November 17:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-28-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/devotion-for-november-17-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/week-of-proper-27-friday-year-2-and-week-of-proper-27-saturday-year-2/

PROPER 28:  THE TWENTY-SIXTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B:  NOVEMBER 18, 2018:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/devotion-for-proper-28-ackerman/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/devotion-for-proper-28-year-d/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/proper-28-year-b/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/devotion-for-november-18-and-19-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Monday, November 19:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-proper-28-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/devotion-for-november-18-and-19-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/12/week-of-proper-28-monday-year-2/

Tuesday, November 20:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-proper-28-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/devotion-for-november-20-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/14/week-of-proper-28-tuesday-year-2/

Wednesday, November 21:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/devotion-for-wednesday-after-proper-28-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/devotion-for-november-21-and-22-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/week-of-proper-28-wednesday-year-2/

Thursday, November 22:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-proper-29-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/devotion-for-november-21-and-22-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/week-of-proper-28-thursday-year-2/

Thanksgiving Day (U.S.A.):  November 22:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/06/01/thanksgiving-day-u-s-a/

Friday, November 23:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-proper-29-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/devotion-for-november-23-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/week-of-proper-28-friday-year-2-and-week-of-proper-28-saturday-year-2/

Saturday, November 24:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/devotion-for-saturday-before-proper-29-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/devotion-for-november-24-25-and-26-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/week-of-proper-28-friday-year-2-and-week-of-proper-28-saturday-year-2/

PROPER 29:  CHRIST THE THE KING SUNDAY:  THE LAST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B:  NOVEMBER 25, 2018:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/devotion-for-proper-29-ackerman/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/devotion-for-proper-29-year-d/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/17/proper-29-year-b/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/devotion-for-november-24-25-and-26-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Monday, November 26:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-29-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/devotion-for-november-24-25-and-26-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/week-of-proper-29-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-year-2/

Tuesday, November 27:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-29-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/devotion-for-november-27-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/week-of-proper-29-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-year-2/

Wednesday, November 28:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-29-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/devotion-for-november-28-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/week-of-proper-29-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-year-2/

Thursday, November 29:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-first-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/devotion-for-november-29-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/week-of-proper-29-thursday-friday-and-saturday-year-2/

Friday, November 30:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-the-first-sunday-of-advent-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/devotion-for-november-30-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/week-of-proper-29-thursday-friday-and-saturday-year-2/

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Devotion for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday After Proper 29, Year C (ELCA Daily Lectionary)   1 comment

Icon of the Apocalypse of John

Above:   Icon of the Apocalypse of John

Image in the Public Domain

God is the Ruler Yet

NOVEMBER 21, 2016

NOVEMBER 22, 2016

NOVEMBER 23, 2016

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The Collect:

O God, our true life, to serve you is freedom, and to know you is unending joy.

We worship you, we glorify you, we give thanks to you for your great glory.

Abide with us, reign in us, and make this world into a fit habitation for your divine majesty,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 53

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The Assigned Readings:

Jeremiah 46:18-28 (Monday)

Isaiah 33:17-22 (Tuesday)

Isaiah 60:8-16 (Wednesday)

Psalm 24 (All Days)

Revelation 21:5-27 (Monday)

Revelation 22:8-21 (Tuesday)

Luke 1:1-4 (Wednesday)

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Lift up your heads, O gates;

lift them high, O everlasting doors;

and the King of glory shall come in.

“Who is this King of glory?”

“The LORD, strong and mighty,

the LORD, mighty in battle.”

Lift up your heads, O gates;

lift them high, O everlasting doors;

and the King of glory shall come in.

“Who is this King of glory?”

“The Lord of hosts,

he is the King of glory.”

–Psalm 24:7-10, The Book of Common Prayer (1979)

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Here are some thoughts for the time between Proper 29 (Christ the King Sunday) and the First Sunday of Advent.

God wins in the end.  Conquerors fall to other conquerors, who fall to other conquerors.  The faithful who persevere will receive their reward.  Some of them will live long enough to witness the triumph of God in the flesh.  The story of Jesus of Nazareth, attested to by eyewitnesses, contains suffering, death, and resurrection.  The victory of God in that case is one of love and power, not the smiting of enemies, for whom Christ interceded (Luke 23:34).

The Book of Revelation tells of divine creative destruction from Chapters 4 to 20.  Then, in Revelation 21 and 22, God inaugurates the new order.  There is smiting of enemies here, for the deliverance of the oppressed is frequently bad news for unrepentant oppressors.  The new, divine world order, however, contains no oppression.

That divine order has not become reality yet, of course.  Nevertheless, as the Reverend Maltbie Davenport Babcock (1858-1901) wrote:

This is my Father’s world,

O let my ne’er forget

That though the wrong

Seems oft so strong,

God is the ruler yet.

This is my Father’s world:

The battle is not done;

Jesus who died

Shall be satisfied,

And earth and heaven be one.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 7, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK LUCIAN HOSMER, U.S. UNITARIAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTHONY MARY GIANELLI, FOUNDER OF THE MISSIONARIES OF SAINT ALPHONSUS LIGUORI AND THE SISTERS OF MARY DELL’ORTO

THE FEAST OF CHARLES AUGUSTUS BRIGGS, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN PASTOR THEN EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT ROBERT OF NEWMINSTER, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND PRIEST

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2016/06/07/god-is-the-ruler-yet/

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Devotions for Friday and Saturday Before Proper 29, Year C (ELCA Daily Lectionary)   1 comment

Jehoiakim

Above:   Jehoiakim

Image in the Public Domain

Good and Bad Shepherds

NOVEMBER 18 and 19, 2016

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The Collect:

O God, our true life, to serve you is freedom, and to know you is unending joy.

We worship you, we glorify you, we give thanks to you for your great glory.

Abide with us, reign in us, and make this world into a fit habitation for your divine majesty,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 53

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The Assigned Readings:

Zechariah 11:1-17 (Friday)

Jeremiah 22:18-30 (Saturday)

Psalm 46 (Both Days)

1 Peter 1:3-9 (Friday)

Luke 18:15-17 (Saturday)

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God is our refuge and our strength,

a very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved,

and though the mountains be toppled into the depths of the sea;

Though its waters rage and foam,

and though the mountains tremble at its tumult.

The LORD of hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

–Psalm 46:1-4, The Book of Common Prayer (1979)

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The reading from Second Zechariah is an allegory of a selfish and foolish shepherd who, instead of protecting the sheep of his flock, sells them to their slaughterer for the sum of thirty shekels of silver.  The identification of the shepherd (code for political leader) is open-ended, and the price for which he sells the sheep of his flock to their doom is the same amount Judas Iscariot went on to receive for betraying Jesus in Matthew 26:14-16.  One might surmise correctly that many members of Matthew’s audience, being Jews familiar with their scriptural heritage, would have recognized the echo of Zechariah 11.

Perhaps Second Zechariah was thinking of monarchs such as Jehoiakim (reigned 608-598 B.C.E.), of whom one can read in Jeremiah 22:13-19, 2 Kings 23:36-24:7, and 2 Chronicles 36:5-8, and of his son, Jeconiah/Jehoiachin (reigned 597 B.C.E.), of whom one can read in Jeremiah 22:20-30, 2 Kings 24:8-17, and 2 Chronicles 36:9-10.  Jehoiachin was the penultimate King of Judah, and, by the time of his deposition by a foreign potentate, the realm Kingdom of Judah was obviously independent in name only.

Of Jehoiakim, father of Jehoiachin, Jeremiah 22 says in part:

Woe to him who builds his house on wrong,

his terraces on injustice;

Who works his neighbor without pay,

and gives him no wages.

Who says, “I will build myself a spacious house,

with airy rooms,”

Who cuts out windows for it,

panels it with cedar,

and paints it with vermillion.

–Verses 13-14, The New American Bible (1991)

Such shepherds abound, unfortunately.  I refer not to those who strive to do the right thing for their populations yet fail to accomplish their goals, but to those to operate not out of any sense of seeking the common good but out of greed, self-aggrandisement, and indifference toward justice, especially that of the economic variety.

Among the most familiar images of Jesus in the Gospels is that of the Good Shepherd (John 10:1-21), who not only watches his flock attentively but lays down his life for it.  The Good Shepherd is the polar opposite of the shepherd in Zechariah 11.  The Good Shepherd is Jesus in 1 Peter 1 and the figure who points to powerless children as spiritual models in Luke 18.  The Good Shepherd is one consistent with the description of God in Psalm 46.

To be a sheep in the flock of the Good Shepherd is wonderful indeed.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 7, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK LUCIAN HOSMER, U.S. UNITARIAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTHONY MARY GIANELLI, FOUNDER OF THE MISSIONARIES OF SAINT ALPHONSUS LIGUORI AND THE SISTERS OF MARY DELL’ORTO

THE FEAST OF CHARLES AUGUSTUS BRIGGS, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN PASTOR THEN EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT ROBERT OF NEWMINSTER, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND PRIEST

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2016/06/07/good-and-bad-shepherds/

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Devotion for Thursday Before Proper 29, Year C (ELCA Daily Lectionary)   1 comment

The Death of Ahab--Gustave Dore

Above:   The Death of Ahab, by Gustave Dore

Image in the Public Domain

Three Kings and Two Deaths

NOVEMBER 17, 2016

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The Collect:

O God, our true life, to serve you is freedom, and to know you is unending joy.

We worship you, we glorify you, we give thanks to you for your great glory.

Abide with us, reign in us, and make this world into a fit habitation for your divine majesty,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 53

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Assigned Readings:

2 Chronicles 18:12-22

Psalm 46

Hebrews 9:23-28

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God is our refuge and strength,

a very present help in trouble.

–Psalm 46:1, The Book of Common Prayer (1979)

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The account from 2 Chronicles 18, quite similar to one in 1 Kings 22, agrees with that sentiment and emphasizes the impropriety of a military alliance with an evil ally–in this case, King Ahab of Israel (reigned 873-852 B.C.E.).  King Jehoshaphat of Judah (reigned 870-846 B.C.E.) enters into a military alliance with Ahab against Aram, a shared enemy.  Only Micaiah, one prophet in a particular group of prophets, says that the planned attack at Ramoth-gilead is a bad idea.  He resists pressure to claim otherwise.  Micaiah is, of course, correct.  Ahab dies.  Jehoshaphat survives, to hear from one Jehu son of Hanani of God’s displeasure over the alliance:

For this, wrath is upon you from the LORD.  However, there is good in you, for you have purged the land of the sacred posts  and have dedicated yourself to worship God.

–2 Chronicles 19:2b-3, TANAKH:  The Holy Scriptures (1985)

One can read of the reign of Jehoshaphat in 1 Kings 22:1-51 and 2 Chronicles 17:1-20:37.

Hebrews 9:23-28 concerns itself with the atoning qualities of the crucifixion of Jesus.  I, as a student of Christian history, in particular of the development of doctrine and theology, know of three early theories of the Atonement.  Two of these include the death of Christ.  Penal Substitutionary Atonement does not satisfy me (forgive the double entendre), for it depicts a deity in which to stand in dread, not awe.

I will not be satisfied until people torture and kill my son,

that deity proclaims.  The Classic Theory, or Christus Victor, however, places correct emphasis on the resurrection.  Without the resurrection we have dead Jesus, who cannot save anyone.

Both Ahab and Jesus died.  Ahab, who died foolishly (despite warning) and was idolatrous and evil (consult 1 Kings 16:29-22:40 and 2 Chronicles 18:1-34) had it coming.  Jesus, however, was innocent of any offense before God.  The death of Ahab brought to the throne of Israel his son, Ahaziah, who followed in his father’s ignominious footsteps (consult 1 Kings 22:52-54; 2 Kings 1:1-18).  The death of Jesus, in contrast, played a role in the salvation of the human race from sin.

May we who follow Jesus respond to him, treating him as our savior, not merely another martyr to admire.  Grace is free yet not cheap; ask Jesus.  It demands much of us, such as that we not be as Kings Ahab and Ahaziah were.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 7, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK LUCIAN HOSMER, U.S. UNITARIAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTHONY MARY GIANELLI, FOUNDER OF THE MISSIONARIES OF SAINT ALPHONSUS LIGUORI AND THE SISTERS OF MARY DELL’ORTO

THE FEAST OF CHARLES AUGUSTUS BRIGGS, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN PASTOR THEN EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT ROBERT OF NEWMINSTER, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND PRIEST

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2016/06/07/three-kings-and-two-deaths/

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Devotion for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday After Proper 28, Year C (ELCA Daily Lectionary)   1 comment

Icon of Ezekiel

Above:   Icon of Ezekiel

Image in the Public Domain

Limitless Goodness

NOVEMBER 14, 2016

NOVEMBER 15, 2016

NOVEMBER 16, 2016

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The Collect:

O God, the protector of all who trust in you,

without you nothing is strong, nothing is holy.

Embrace us with your mercy, that with you as our ruler and guide,

we may live through what is temporary without losing what is eternal,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 53

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The Assigned Readings:

Ezekiel 11:14-25 (Monday)

Ezekiel 39:21-40:4 (Tuesday)

Ezekiel 43:1-12 (Wednesday)

Psalm 141 (All Days)

Ephesians 4:25-5:2 (Monday)

1 Corinthians 10:23-11:1 (Tuesday)

Matthew 23:37-24:14 (Wednesday)

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But my eyes are turned to you, Lord GOD;

in you I take refuge;

do not strip me of my life.

–Psalm 141:8, The Book of Common Prayer (1979)

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The reading from Matthew is apocalyptic and Psalm 141 is also bleak.  These texts come from difficult times.  Oppressed people pray for God to destroy their enemies.  The textual context in Matthew is the impending crucifixion of Jesus.  From the perspective of the composition of the Gospel itself, however, there is wrestling with fading expectations of Christ’s imminent Second Coming.  One also detects echoes of reality for Matthew’s audience, contending with persecution (or the threat thereof) and conflict with non-Christian Jews.

We read of mercy following judgment in Ezekiel 11, 39, 40, and 43.  Punishment for societal sins will ensue, but so will restoration.  In the end, God’s Presence returns to Jerusalem, which it departed in Chapters 10 and 11.

Those sins included not only idolatry but judicial corruption and economic injustice, which, of course, hurt the poor the most.  Not seeking the common good violated the Law of Moses.  Seeking the common good defined the assigned readings from Ephesians and 1 Corinthians.

“Everything is lawful,” but not everything is beneficial.  “Everything is lawful,” but not everything builds up.  No one should seek his own advantage, but that of his neighbor.

–1 Corinthians 10:23-24, The New American Bible (1991)

We also read, in the context of how we treat each other:

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, for that Spirit is the seal with which you were marked for the day of final liberation.

–Ephesians 4:30, The Revised English Bible (1989)

Those are fine guiding principles.  Some of the details in their vicinity in the texts might not apply to your circumstances, O reader, but such lists are not comprehensive and some examples are specific to cultures and settings.  Timeless principles transcend circumstances and invite us to apply them when and where we are.  May we live them in love of God and our fellow human beings, daring even to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:43-48).  That is a difficult standard to meet, but it is possible via grace.

There must be no limit to your goodness, as your heavenly Father’s goodness knows no bounds.

–Matthew 5:48, The Revised English Bible (1989)

Amen.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 6, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FRANKLIN CLARK FRY, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA AND THE LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CLAUDE OF BESANCON, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, MONK, ABBOT, AND BISHOP

THE FEAST OF HENRY JAMES BUCKOLL, AUTHOR AND TRANSLATOR OF HYMNS

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM KETHE, PRESBYTERIAN HYMN WRITER

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/limitless-goodness/

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Devotion for Saturday Before Proper 28, Year C (ELCA Daily Lectionary)   1 comment

Temple at Jerusalem

Above:   The Temple at Jerusalem

Image in the Public Domain

Optimism and Pessimism

NOVEMBER 12, 2016

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The Collect:

O God, the protector of all who trust in you,

without you nothing is strong, nothing is holy.

Embrace us with your mercy, that with you as our ruler and guide,

we may live through what is temporary without losing what is eternal,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 53

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The Assigned Readings:

Ezekiel 10:1-19

Psalm 98

Luke 17:20-37

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Sing to the LORD a new song,

for he has done marvelous things.

–Psalm 98:1, The Book of Common Prayer (1979)

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Psalm 98 is the most optimistic reading for this day.  In Ezekiel 10 (carried over into Chapter 11) the Presence of Yahweh departs from Jerusalem, leaving it open to invasion and destruction by foreigners.  The divine Presence remains absent until Ezekiel 43.  In Luke 17:21 the Kingdom of God is present yet persecution and generally dark, eschatological times are en route.  On the other hand, in Luke 18, Jesus encourages his followers to continue praying and never to lose heart.  There is a way through the difficult times while living or dead, and always faithful to God.

The tone of these readings, taken together, fits the time of the church year well.  In the Revised Common Lectionary and several other lectionaries the selected portions of scripture become increasingly apocalyptic during the last few weeks before Advent and into that season.  Some Confessional Lutheran bodies even go so far as to label the last four Sundays of the Season after Pentecost the End Time Season.

May we remember that out of the creative destruction in Revelation 4-20 comes a new creation in Chapters 21 and 22.  Hope in God is real and well-founded, for God will win in the end.

That is a reason for optimism.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 6, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FRANKLIN CLARK FRY, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA AND THE LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CLAUDE OF BESANCON, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, MONK, ABBOT, AND BISHOP

THE FEAST OF HENRY JAMES BUCKOLL, AUTHOR AND TRANSLATOR OF HYMNS

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM KETHE, PRESBYTERIAN HYMN WRITER

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/optimism-and-pessimism/

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