Archive for the ‘June’ Category

Guide to Ordinary Time Devotions in June 2018   1 comment

Above:  Christ Church Cathedral, Mobile, Alabama

Image in the Public Domain

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Friday, June 1:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/devotion-for-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-4-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/devotion-for-may-31-and-june-1-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/week-of-proper-3-friday-year-2/

Saturday, June 2:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/devotion-for-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-4-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/devotion-for-june-2-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/week-of-proper-3-saturday-year-2/

PROPER 4:  THE SECOND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B:  JUNE 3, 2018:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/devotion-for-proper-4-ackerman/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/12/16/devotion-for-proper-4-year-d/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/07/22/proper-4-year-b/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/devotion-for-june-3-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Monday, June 4:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-proper-4-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/devotion-for-june-4-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/week-of-proper-4-monday-year-2/

Tuesday, June 5:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-proper-4-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/devotion-for-june-5-and-6-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/week-of-proper-4-tuesday-year-2/

Wednesday, June 6:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/13/devotion-for-wednesday-after-proper-4-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/devotion-for-june-5-and-6-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/week-of-proper-4-wednesday-year-2/

Thursday, June 7:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-proper-5-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/devotion-for-june-7-and-8-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/week-of-proper-4-thursday-year-2/

Friday, June 8:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-proper-5-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/devotion-for-june-7-and-8-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/week-of-proper-4-friday-year-2/

Saturday, June 9:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/17/devotion-for-saturday-before-proper-5-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/devotion-for-june-9-10-and-11-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/week-of-proper-4-saturday-year-2/

PROPER 5:  THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B:  JUNE 10, 2018:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/devotion-for-proper-5-ackerman/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/12/16/devotion-for-proper-5-year-d/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/proper-5-year-b/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/devotion-for-june-9-10-and-11-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Monday, June 11:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-proper-5-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/devotion-for-june-9-10-and-11-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/week-of-proper-5-monday-year-2/

Tuesday, June 12:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-proper-5-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/devotion-for-june-12-and-13-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/week-of-proper-5-tuesday-year-2/

Wednesday, June 13:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/devotion-for-wednesday-after-proper-5-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/devotion-for-june-12-and-13-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/week-of-proper-5-wednesday-year-2/

Thursday, June 14:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/devotion-for-thursday-before-proper-6-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/devotion-for-june-14-and-15-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/week-of-proper-5-thursday-year-2/

Friday, June 15:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/devotion-for-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-6-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/devotion-for-june-14-and-15-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/week-of-proper-5-friday-year-2/

Saturday, June 16:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/devotion-for-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-6-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/devotion-for-june-16-and-17-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/week-of-proper-5-saturday-year-2/

PROPER 6:  THE FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B:  JUNE 17, 2018:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/devotion-for-proper-6-ackerman/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/12/16/devotion-for-proper-6-year-d/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/proper-6-year-b/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/devotion-for-june-16-and-17-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Monday, June 18:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/devotion-for-monday-after-proper-6-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/devotion-for-june-18-19-and-20-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/14/week-of-proper-6-monday-year-2/

Tuesday, June 19:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/devotion-for-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-6-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/devotion-for-june-18-19-and-20-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/14/week-of-proper-6-tuesday-year-2/

Wednesday, June 20:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/devotion-for-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-6-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/devotion-for-june-18-19-and-20-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/14/week-of-proper-6-wednesday-year-2/

Thursday, June 21:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-proper-7-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/devotion-for-june-21-and-22-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/14/week-of-proper-6-thursday-year-2/

Friday, June 22:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-proper-7-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/devotion-for-june-21-and-22-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/14/week-of-proper-6-friday-year-2/

Saturday, June 23:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/devotion-for-saturday-before-proper-7-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/devotion-for-june-23-24-and-25-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/14/week-of-proper-6-saturday-year-2/

PROPER 7:  THE FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B:  JUNE 24, 2018:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2017/06/16/devotion-for-proper-7-ackerman/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/12/16/devotion-for-proper-7-year-d/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/proper-7-year-b/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/devotion-for-june-23-24-and-25-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Monday, June 25:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-proper-7-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/devotion-for-june-23-24-and-25-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/week-of-proper-7-monday-year-2/

Tuesday, June 26:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-proper-7-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/devotion-for-june-26-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/week-of-proper-7-tuesday-year-2/

Wednesday, June 27:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-proper-7-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/devotion-for-june-27-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/week-of-proper-7-wednesday-year-2/

Thursday, June 28:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-8-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/devotion-for-june-28-and-29-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/week-of-proper-7-thursdayyear-2/

Friday, June 29:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-8-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/devotion-for-june-28-and-29-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/18/week-of-proper-7-friday-year-2/

Saturday, June 30:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-8-year-b-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/devotion-for-june-30-july-1-and-july-2-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/week-of-proper-7-saturday-year-2/

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Devotion for Proper 7 (Ackerman)   2 comments

Above:   Give Us This Our Daily Bread Print, Currier & Ives, 1872

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USZC2-2453

Spiritual Nutrition

JUNE 24, 2018

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Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ,  who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 236

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Genesis 41:9-40

Psalm 37:23-28a

Acts 6:1-7

Mark 8:14-21

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Depart from evil, and do good,

so you shall abide forever.

For the LORD loves justice;

he will not forsake his faithful ones.

The righteous shall be kept safe forever,

but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.

–Psalm 37:27-28, The New Revised Standard Version (1989)

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David Ackerman omits the second part (the passage contrasting the righteous and the children of the wicked) in Beyond the Lectionary (2013).

On another topic, the Psalmist might not have seen the children of the righteous begging for bread, but I have.  I am not alone in this.

The Joseph of the Book of Genesis bears little resemblance to the figure of whom I have read in many a book of Bible stories retold for children.  I read Genesis 37 and 39-50 (the Joseph Epic) and encounter a spoiled brat who grew up because he had no choice.  I also meet an interpreter of dreams who rose to a position of prominence, reunited his family, and in Chapter 47, fed the Egyptian population during a time of severe drought by returning their food (which he had ordered confiscated) to them in exchange for serfdom.   Joseph is an imperfect protagonist.

The surviving Apostles (plus St. Matthias) feed the hungry then decide to focus on preaching and teaching.  So they appoint deacons to wait tables.  This is the origin of the Christian diaconate.  There is no insistence upon serfdom here.  No, we find quite the opposite.

When we turn to the reading from Mark 8 it is useful to understand that we pick up immediately following Jesus feeding “about four thousand people” with seven loaves and a few small fish.  There are many leftovers.  Then some Pharisees demand, of all things, a sign.  Jesus warns his Apostles against the yeast–a metaphor for diffused or veiled evil (see Luke 12:1; 1 Corinthians 5:6; and Galatians 5:9) of the Pharisees.  The literal-minded Apostles, confused, think that Christ refers to bread.  Jesus is angry with them.

The depiction of the Apostles in the Gospel of Mark is interesting and part of a larger theme.  The earliest canonical Gospel argues that those who think they are insiders might not be that.  There are the condemnations of the religious establishment, of course.  Furthermore, those closest to Jesus do not understand him.  To the contrary, evil spirits recognize him immediately.  This depiction of the twelve Apostles as being clueless is stronger in Mark than in Luke-Acts, for narrative reasons.

A sufficient supply of food is essential to sustaining life.  Too little food leads to starvation, just as an excess of it leads to obesity.   Furthermore, the wrong type of food leads to health problems.  Likewise, improper spiritual nutrition leads to negative consequences.  Do we not yet understand this?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 16, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GEORGE BERKELEY, IRISH ANGLICAN BISHOP AND PHILOSOPHER; AND JOSEPH BUTLER, ANGLICAN BISHOP AND THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF JOHN FRANCIS REGIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF NORMAN MACLEOD, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER; AND HIS COUSIN, JOHN MACLEOD, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER, LITURGIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF RUFUS JONES, QUAKER THEOLOGIAN

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2017/06/16/spiritual-nutrition/

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Devotion for Proper 6 (Ackerman)   2 comments

Above:   Judah and Tamar, by the School of Rembrandt van Rijn

Image in the Public Domain

Vindication

JUNE 17, 2018

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Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ,  who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 236

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Genesis 38:1-26

Psalm 35:19-25

Acts 5:1-11

Matthew 12:43-45

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In June 1996 my father became the pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church in rural Appling County, Georgia, U.S.A.  One of the adult Sunday School classes was reading and discussing the Book of Genesis at the rate of a chapter per week.  I recall that, on the Sunday morning after they had read and discussed Chapter 37, the teacher skipped directly to Chapter 39.

Genesis 38 is a hot potato.  What are we to make of a story that approves of a childless widow pretending to be a pagan temple prostitute, seducing her father-in-law, and becoming pregnant with twins, his children?  Judah (the father-in-law) understands the deception by Tamar (the widow) as justified, per the rules governing levirate marriage (Deuteronomy 25:5-10).  As Professor Amy-Jill Levine says, we must accept that people did things differently then.

The author of Psalm 35 prays for divine vindication against enemies.  Perhaps that mindset informs the treatment of the selfish people (struck dead by God) in Acts 5.  The sense of grievance certainly informs Matthew 12:43-45, which literally demonizes Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus.  One can reasonably imagine members of a marginalized Jewish Christian community demonizing the non-Christian Jews circa 85 C.E.

The desire for divine vindication can be legitimate.  Yet may we who seek vindication never surrender to hatred and thereby become as those who seek to harm us or otherwise deny us that which is rightfully ours.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 15, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN ELLERTON, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF CARL HEINRICH VON BOGATSKY, HUNGARIAN-GERMAN LUTHERAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS LANDELINUS OF VAUX, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AUBERT OF CAMBRAI, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP; URSMAR OF LOBBES, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND MISSIONARY BISHOP; AND DOMITIAN, HADELIN, AND DODO OF LOBBES, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONKS

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/vindication-2/

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Devotion for Proper 5 (Ackerman)   2 comments

Above:   Paying the Tax with a Coin from the Fish

Image in the Public Domain

The Sovereignty of God

JUNE 10, 2018

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Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ,  who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 236

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Genesis 27:1-10, 18-19, 26-33, 38-40

Psalm 12

Acts 4:23-31

Matthew 17:24-27

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O LORD, watch over us

and save us from this generation for ever.

The wicked prowl on every side,

and that which is worthless is highly prized by everyone.

–Psalm 12, The Book of Common Prayer (1979)

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One of the primary challenges understanding the Bible is the fact that we moderns come from different cultural and intellectual backgrounds than the ancients did.  The Biblical texts leave much unwritten because members of the original audiences did not require the explanation of every germane assumption.  Consider, O reader, blessings and curses.  By curses I refer not to profane and coarse language, but to the opposite of blessings.  One assumption in the Hebrew Bible is that spoken blessings and curses have power.  Oral blessings and curses are motifs in the Old Testament.  In this case the second son steals the blessing (due to the first son) by fooling an aging and blind father.  The stolen blessing, however, still has power.  Furthermore, God works through the blessing and the act of stealing it.

The theme of the sovereignty of God continues in the readings.  The promises of God are sure in Psalm 12, even though people exalt vileness.  In Acts 4 religious persecution becomes an opportunity certain early Christians, filled with the Holy Spirit, to proclaim the faith boldly.

The Gospel reading requires much explanation.  A standard exegesis is that the tax in question was the Temple tax.  However, Father Raymond E. Brown questions this conclusion in his magisterial An Introduction to the New Testament (1997).  He proposes that, since Matthew 17:24-27 does not identify the tax as the Temple tax, it might have been a different tax–perhaps the census tax mentioned in Matthew 22:15-22.  Or, if one assumes that the tax in Matthew 17:24-27 was the Temple tax, one might surmise that post-70 C.E. realities inform the telling of the story.  With the destruction of the Temple and the continuation of the Temple tax, the purpose of said tax had shifted to support the temple of Jupiter on the Temple Mount.

The real issue is the sovereignty of God.  The Roman destruction of the Temple could not overcome the sovereignty of God.  Imperial power might extend even to fish, but God could place the coin to pay the tax inside a fish.  For the sake of avoiding public scandal Jesus pays the tax with money God has provided, but God is still more powerful than the Roman Empire.

We who follow God should acknowledge divine sovereignty.  Our relations to the state might be strained.  I acknowledge the moral legitimacy of political revolution sometimes, especially when the system oppresses those who seek to change it peaceably.  In all circumstances, we ought to, in the words of Jesus,

Pay Caesar what belongs to Caesar–and God what belongs to God.

–Matthew 22:21, The New Jerusalem Bible (1985)

God, who is sovereign over empires and republics, wants us.  That is fair.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 15, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN ELLERTON, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF CARL HEINRICH VON BOGATSKY, HUNGARIAN-GERMAN LUTHERAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS LANDELINUS OF VAUX, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AUBERT OF CAMBRAI, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP; URSMAR OF LOBBES, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND MISSIONARY BISHOP; AND DOMITIAN, HADELIN, AND DODO OF LOBBES, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONKS

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/the-sovereignty-of-god/

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Devotion for Proper 4 (Ackerman)   2 comments

Above:   The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, by John Martin

Image in the Public Domain

False Teachers

JUNE 3, 2018

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Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ,  who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 236

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Genesis 19:1-8, 15-26, 30-38

Psalm 11

2 Peter 2:4-10a

Matthew 11:20-24

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David Ackerman continues his grand tour of difficult passages of scripture.  The theme this time is judgment and mercy.

One should be careful to examine a passage of scripture closely.  In Genesis 19, for example, we read of (A) an equal-opportunity rape gang and (B) the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  The gang members do not care if their conquests are male, female, or angelic.  Furthermore, Lot, while being hospitable to his house guests, offers his two daughters to the gang instead.  Fortunately for the daughters, the gang had become fixated on “fresh fish.”  One might reasonably surmise, however, that Lot knew the character of his neighbors.  One might also question the character of the daughters, who went on to get their father drunk, seduce him, and have children with him.  Lot and his family are a disturbing group of people in Genesis.

Elsewhere in the assigned lessons we read of divine judgment on false teachers and those who follow them.  This judgment falls on the unrepentant, whether Jewish or Gentile.  Yet there is also mercy for the repentant, whether Jewish or Gentile.

These readings contain much material to make one squirm.  I refer to what is there, not what we merely think is present.  Genesis 19 is partially an origin story of the Amorites and the Moabites, whose founders were the products of subterfuge, drunkenness, and incest.  It is also partially a cautionary tale about the lack of hospitality.  What could be more inhospitable than seeking to seeking to rape someone?

Divine judgment and mercy are real, as are human misinterpretation of Bible stories.  May we turn of the autopilot mode that prevents us from studying passages seriously and transform us into false teachers.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JUNE 15, 2017 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHN ELLERTON, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER AND TRANSLATOR

THE FEAST OF CARL HEINRICH VON BOGATSKY, HUNGARIAN-GERMAN LUTHERAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS LANDELINUS OF VAUX, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AUBERT OF CAMBRAI, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP; URSMAR OF LOBBES, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND MISSIONARY BISHOP; AND DOMITIAN, HADELIN, AND DODO OF LOBBES, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONKS

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/false-teachers/

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Guide to June Ordinary Time Devotions for 2017   1 comment

st-marks-cathedral-salt-lake-city-utah

Above:  St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, Salt Lake City, Utah

Image in the Public Domain

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Monday in Pentecost Week:  June 5:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-pentecost-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-in-pentecost-week-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/devotion-for-june-5-and-6-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/11/15/week-of-proper-4-monday-year-1/

Tuesday in Pentecost Week:  June 6:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-pentecost-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-in-pentecost-week-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/devotion-for-june-5-and-6-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/11/15/week-of-proper-4-tuesday-year-1/

Wednesday in Pentecost Week:  June 7:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/devotion-for-wednesday-after-pentecost-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/devotion-for-wednesday-and-thursday-in-pentecost-week-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/devotion-for-june-7-and-8-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/11/16/week-of-proper-4-wednesday-year-1/

Thursday in Pentecost Week:  June 8:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-trinity-sunday-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/devotion-for-wednesday-and-thursday-in-pentecost-week-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/devotion-for-june-7-and-8-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/11/16/week-of-proper-4-thursday-year-1/

Friday in Pentecost Week:  June 9:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-trinity-sunday-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/devotion-for-friday-in-pentecost-week-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/devotion-for-june-9-10-and-11-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/11/17/week-of-proper-4-friday-year-1/

Saturday in Pentecost Week:  June 10:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-trinity-sunday-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/devotion-for-saturday-in-pentecost-week-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/devotion-for-june-9-10-and-11-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/week-of-proper-4-saturday-year-1/

TRINITY SUNDAY:  THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR A:  JUNE 11, 2017:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/12/16/devotion-for-trinity-sunday-year-d/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/trinity-sunday-year-a/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/devotion-for-trinity-sunday-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/devotion-for-june-9-10-and-11-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Monday, June 12:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-trinity-sunday-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/devotion-for-june-12-and-13-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/week-of-proper-5-monday-year-1/

Tuesday, June 13:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-trinity-sunday-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/devotion-for-june-12-and-13-in-ordinary-time-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/week-of-proper-5-tuesday-year-1/

Wednesday, June 14:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-trinity-sunday-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/devotion-for-june-14-and-15-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/week-of-proper-5-wednesday-year-1/

Thursday, June 15:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-6-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/devotion-for-june-14-and-15-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/11/25/week-of-proper-5-thursday-year-1/

Friday, June 16:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-6-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/devotion-for-june-16-and-17-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/11/25/week-of-proper-5-friday-year-1/

Saturday, June 17:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-6-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/devotion-for-june-16-and-17-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/11/28/week-of-proper-5-saturday-year-1/

PROPER 6:  THE SECOND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR A:  JUNE 18, 2017:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/12/16/devotion-for-proper-6-year-d/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/proper-6-year-a/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/devotion-for-june-18-19-and-20-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Monday, June 19:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-6-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/devotion-for-june-18-19-and-20-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/week-of-proper-6-monday-year-1/

Tuesday, June 20:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-6-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/devotion-for-june-18-19-and-20-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/01/week-of-proper-6-tuesday-year-1/

Wednesday, June 21:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-6-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/devotion-for-june-21-and-22-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/02/week-of-proper-6-wednesday-year-1/

Thursday, June 22:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-proper-7-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/devotion-for-june-21-and-22-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/week-of-proper-6-thursday-year-1/

Friday, June 23:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-proper-7-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/devotion-for-june-23-24-and-25-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/week-of-proper-6-friday-year-1/

Saturday, June 24:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/devotion-for-saturday-before-proper-7-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/devotion-for-june-23-24-and-25-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/week-of-proper-6-saturday-year-1/

PROPER 7:  THE THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR A:  JUNE 25, 2017:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/12/16/devotion-for-proper-7-year-d/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/proper-7-year-a/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/devotion-for-june-23-24-and-25-lcms-daily-lectionary/

Monday, June 26:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-proper-7-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/devotion-for-june-26-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/week-of-proper-7-monday-year-1/

Tuesday, June 27:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-proper-7-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/devotion-for-june-27-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/week-of-proper-7-tuesday-year-1/

Wednesday, June 28:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/devotion-for-wednesday-after-proper-7-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/devotion-for-june-28-and-29-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/week-of-proper-7-wednesday-year-1/

Thursday, June 29:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-proper-8-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/devotion-for-june-28-and-29-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/week-of-proper-7-thursday-year-1/

Friday, June 30:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-proper-8-year-a-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/devotion-for-june-30-july-1-and-july-2-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/13/week-of-proper-7-friday-year-1/

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Devotion for Proper 7 (Year D)   4 comments

Christ Pantocrator

Above:  Christ Pantocrator

Image in the Public Domain

Missing the Point, Part II

JUNE 25, 2017

JUNE 24, 2018

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The Collect:

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ,  who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 236

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The Assigned Readings:

Isaiah 29:1-24 or 59:1-21

Psalm 55

Matthew 15:1-20 or Mark 7:1-20

1 Timothy 4:1-6

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But you, O God, will make them descend to the sludgy Pit.

Let not men of idols and figurines live out their days.

For my part, I trust in you.

–Psalm 55:24, Mitchell J. Dahood, Psalms II (1968)

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A recurring theme in the Psalms is the sliminess of Sheol.  That is the kind of detail one can learn from Biblical scholars.

Those “men of idols and figurines” missed the point.  All evildoers who think vainly that God does not know their plans have missed the point.  Those who perpetuate social injustice and imagine that God has not noticed have missed the point.  Those who obsess over minor details of ritual purity laws while condoning the practice of denying necessary funds to people have missed the point.  (This is an echo of a theme from certain Hebrew prophets.)  Those who teach deceitful doctrines have missed the point.

One might miss the point for any one of a set of reasons.  One might be one of the blind led by other blind people and worse, leading other blind people, to borrow and expand upon a figure of speech from the Gospels.  One might be defending tradition as one understands God to have handed it down, as in 1 Timothy 4.  One might not care about not missing the point.  Or one might be self-serving and prone to interpreting morality through that distorted lens.

Heresies are legion, as they have been for a very long time.  A few generalizations regarding them are worth pondering:

  1. Objective religious truth exists.  For lack of a better name, let us call it God.
  2. The degree to which we can know doctrinal truth is restricted, due to the fact that we are mere mortals.
  3. The definition of orthodoxy changes over time, even within any given ecclesiastical institution.  Consider, for example, O reader, the evolution of theology in Roman Catholicism.  Some of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, who were orthodox in their time, became heretics ex post facto.
  4. Objective truth does not change.
  5. Many heresies began as attempts to pronounce orthodoxy in specific circumstances.
  6. Every person is somebody’s heretic.
  7. Every person is somewhat heretical.

We are left to do our best, trusting in God’s grace and commanded to love one another.  Christ is our Savior and exemplar.  The historical figure known as Jesus of Nazareth was the incarnate form of the Second Person of the Trinity, however that worked.  To be a Christian is to follow Christ, who not only spoke of loving one’s neighbors but modeled that behavior, even unto death.

Jesus did not miss the point.

By grace, may we not miss it either.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 16, 2016 COMMON ERA

THE TWENTIETH DAY OF ADVENT

THE FEAST OF GUSTAF AULEN, SWEDISH LUTHERAN THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT FILIP SIPHONG ONPHITHAKT, ROMAN CATHOLIC CATECHIST AND MARTYR IN THAILAND

THE FEAST OF MAUDE DOMINICA PETRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MODERNIST THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF RALPH ADAMS CRAM AND RICHARD UPJOHN, ARCHITECTS; AND JOHN LAFARGE, SR., PAINTER AND STAINED GLASS MAKER

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2016/12/16/missing-the-point-part-ii/

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