Archive for the ‘June’ Category

Guide to Ordinary Time Devotions for June 2019   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Brattleboro, Vermont, Circa 1905

Copyright Claimant = Detroit Publishing Company

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-det-4a12254

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Monday in Pentecost Week:  June 10:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-proper-5-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-pentecost-sunday-year-c-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/2012/06/26/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-in-pentecost-week-lcms-daily-lectionary/

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

Tuesday in Pentecost Week:  June 11:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-proper-5-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-pentecost-sunday-year-c-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/2012/06/26/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-in-pentecost-week-lcms-daily-lectionary/

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

Wednesday in Pentecost Week:  June 12:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/devotion-for-wednesday-after-proper-5-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/devotion-for-wednesday-after-pentecost-sunday-year-c-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/2012/06/26/devotion-for-wednesday-and-thursday-in-pentecost-week-lcms-daily-lectionary/

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

Thursday in Pentecost Week:  June 13:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-6-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-trinity-sunday-year-c-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/2012/06/26/devotion-for-wednesday-and-thursday-in-pentecost-week-lcms-daily-lectionary/

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

Friday in Pentecost Week:  June 14:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-6-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/devotion-for-thursday-and-friday-before-trinity-sunday-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

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

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

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

Saturday in Pentecost Week:  June 15:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-6-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/devotion-for-saturday-before-trinity-sunday-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

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

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

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

FIRST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR C:  TRINITY SUNDAY:  JUNE 16, 2019:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/devotion-for-trinity-sunday-year-a-humes/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/devotion-for-trinity-sunday-ackerman/

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

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

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/trinity-sunday-year-c/

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

Monday, June 17:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-6-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/devotion-for-monday-after-trinity-sunday-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

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

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

Tuesday, June 18:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-6-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/devotion-for-tuesday-after-trinity-sunday-year-c-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 19:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/devotion-for-monday-tuesday-and-wednesday-after-proper-6-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/devotion-for-wednesday-after-trinity-sunday-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

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

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

Thursday, June 20:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/05/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-7-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/02/27/devotion-for-thursday-before-proper-3-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

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

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

Friday, June 21:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/05/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-7-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

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

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

Saturday, June 22:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/05/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-7-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

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

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

PROPER 7:  SECOND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR C:  JUNE 23, 2019:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/devotion-for-proper-7-year-a-humes/

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/2012/07/16/devotion-for-june-23-24-and-25-lcms-daily-lectionary/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/proper-7-year-c/

Monday, June 24:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/05/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-proper-7-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

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

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

Tuesday, June 25:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/05/devotion-for-monday-and-tuesday-after-proper-7-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

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

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

Wednesday, June 26:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/05/devotion-for-wednesday-after-proper-7-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

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

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

Thursday, June 27:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-8-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

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

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

Friday, June 28:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-8-year-c-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-friday-year-1/

Saturday, June 29:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/devotion-for-thursday-friday-and-saturday-before-proper-8-year-c-elca-daily-lectionary/

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

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2010/12/14/week-of-proper-7-saturday-year-1/

PROPER 8:  THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR C:  JUNE 30, 2019:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/devotion-for-proper-8-year-a-humes/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2017/06/17/devotion-for-proper-8-ackerman/

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2016/12/17/devotion-for-proper-8-year-d/

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

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/proper-8-year-c/

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Devotion for Proper 8, Year A (Humes)   2 comments

Above:  Esau Selling His Birthright, by Hendrick ter Brugghen

Image in the Public Domain

Vehicles of Grace

JUNE 30, 2019

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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 25:17-34 or Isaiah 1:1-20 (portions)

Psalm 11

1 Corinthians 1:1-18

Matthew 7:15-29

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Waiting on and trusting in God can be very difficult, but it is the thematic thread uniting these readings.  Nevertheless, some of the figures from certain readings for today seem like unlikely exemplars of waiting on and trusting in God.

The narrative about Jacob portrays Israel in its earthiest and most scandalous appearance in Genesis.  The narrative is not edifying in any conventional religious or moral sense.  Indeed, if one comes to the narrative with such an agenda, the narrative is offensive.  But for that very reason, the Jacob narrative is most lifelike.  It presents Jacob in the crude mixture of motives.  The grandson of the promise is a rascal compared to his faithful grandfather Abraham or his successful father Isaac.  The affirmations of faith in this narrative are especially robust.  The narrator knows that the purposes of God are tangled in a web of self-interest and self-seeking.

–Walter Brueggemann, Genesis (1982), page 204

Saul of Tarsus thought he was obeying God while oppressing Christians.  After realizing his error, he became St. Paul the Apostle, a vital figure in the mission to the Gentiles.

Each of us is imperfect.  All of us can do better.  Each of us can be a vehicle of grace, by grace.  Seeking to obey God is laudable, but how can we succeed?  The judgments of our culture are not always helpful in this matter.  Furthermore, if we think we are listening to God, we might be, but we might also be conducting on internal dialogue instead.  As much as one might try to wait on and trust in God, one might miss the channel, so to speak.

I offer no easy answers because I have none.  Besides, an easy answer to a difficult question is a wrong answer.  I suggest, however, that one is less likely to go wrong by seeking the good of other people rather than by living selfishly.  One might sin in how one seeks to build up others, but at least on is pointing in the right direction.  Yet good intentions are the pavement stones in road to Hell, so one needs grace to make wise decisions daily.  Good intentions are at least good, but they are insufficient.

Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever.

That truth is a quote from the Westminster Larger Catechism.  The sentence is a fine general statement of principle.  The particulars vary according to the circumstances of life–who, where, and when one is.  May we, by grace, bear good fruit for God, and therefore glorify him, and enjoy him fully forever.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 13, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CLIFFORD BAX, POET, PLAYWRIGHT, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT EUGENIUS OF CARTHAGE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES RENATUS VERBEEK, MORAVIAN MINISTER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF PETER RICKSEEKER, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER, MISSIONARY, MUSICIAN, MUSIC EDUCATOR, AND COMPOSER; STUDENT OF JOHANN CHRISTIAN BECHLER, MORAVIAN MINISTER , MUSICIAN, MUSIC EDUCATOR, AND COMPOSER; FATHER OF JULIUS THEODORE BECHLER, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER, MUSICIAN, EDUCATOR, AND COMPOSER

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/vehicles-of-grace/

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Devotion for Proper 7, Year A (Humes)   2 comments

Above:  Pole Gate, July 1978

Image Source = Library of Congress

Photographer = Suzi Jones

Faithful Servants of God, Part V

JUNE 23, 2019

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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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Ecclesiastes 12 or Ezekiel 36:22-36

Psalm 10:1, 14-20

Galatians 6:1-18

Matthew 7:1-14

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To sum up the matter:  fear God, and keep his commandments, since this is the whole duty of man.  For God will call all hidden deeds, good or bad, to judgment.

–Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, The Jerusalem Bible (1966)

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Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.

–Galatians 6:2, The New Revised Standard Version (1989)

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The author of Psalm 10’s query remains germane.  Why does God stand far off while the wicked hunt down the poor?  At least God does not always stand far off, although I also wonder about divine timing.

A major theme for this Sunday is how we treat each other.  God seems to care a great deal about that in the Bible.  We are supposed to build up one another, thereby creating an improved common good.  We actually benefit ourselves by putting others first.  This is part of “fearing”–actually, standing in awe of–God.

Selfishness is a difficult habit to break, unfortunately.  May we break it, by grace, and become the people and societies we are supposed to be.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 22, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT DEOGRATIAS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF CARTHAGE

THE FEAST OF EMMANUEL MOURNIER, PERSONALIST PHILOSOPHER

THE FEAST OF JAMES DE KOVEN, EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HUGHES, BRITISH SOCIAL REFORMER AND MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

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Adapted from this post:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/22/devotion-for-the-ninth-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-a-humes/

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Devotion for Trinity Sunday, Year A (Humes)   2 comments

Above:  Icon of the Holy Trinity, by Andrei Rublev

Image in the Public Domain

Little Less Than Divine

JUNE 16, 2019

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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 1:1-2:4a

Psalm 8

2 Corinthians 13:11-13

Matthew 28:16-20

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Trinity Sunday is the creation of Bishop Stephen of Liege (in office 903-920).  The feast, universal in Roman Catholicism since 1334 by the order of Pope John XXII, is, according to the eminent Lutheran liturgist Philip H. Pfatteicher, author of the Commentary on the Lutheran Book of Worship (1990), not so much about a doctrine but

the now completed mystery of salvation, which is the work of the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit.

–page 301

Famously the word “Trinity” appears nowhere in the Bible, and no single verse or passage gives us that doctrine.  The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is the result of much debate, some fistfights, ecumenical councils, Roman imperial politics, and the pondering of various passages of scripture.  The conclusion of 2 Corinthians and Matthew are two of those passages.  Perhaps the best summary of that process in the fourth chapter in Karen Armstrong‘s A History of God (1994).

I, being aware that a set of heresies has its origin in pious attempts to explain the Trinity, refrain from engaging in any of those heresies or creating a new one.  No, I stand in awe of the mystery of God and affirm that the Trinity is as close to an explanation as we humans will have.  We cannot understand the Trinity, and God, I assume, is more than that.

The great myth in Genesis 1:1-2:4a, itself a modified version of the Enuma Elish, affirms, among other key theological concepts, (1) the goodness of creation and (2) the image of God in human beings.  We are not an afterthought.  No, we are the pinnacle of the created order.  These themes carry over into Psalm 8.  The standard English-language translation of one verse (which one it is depends on the versification in the translation one reads) is that God has created us slightly lower than the angels.  That is a mistranslation.  TANAKH:  The Holy Scriptures (1985) renders the germane passage as

little less than divine.

The Anchor Bible (1965) translation by Mitchell J. Dahood reads

a little less than the gods.

The Hebrew word is Elohim, originally a reference to the council of gods, and therefore a remnant of a time before Jews were monotheists.  An alternative translation is English is

a little lower than God,

which is better than

a little lower than the angels.

Studies of religious history should teach one that Elohim eventually became a synonym for YHWH.

“Little less than divine” seems like an optimistic evaluation of human nature when I consider the past and the present, especially when I think about environmental destruction and human behavior.  But what if Pfatteicher is correct?  What if the work of salvation is complete?  What if the image of God is a great portion of our nature than the actions of many of us might indicate?

In Christ we can have liberation to become the people we ought to be.  In Christ we can achieve our spiritual potential–for the glory of God and the benefit of others.

May we, by grace, let the image of God run loose.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 13, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF CLIFFORD BAX, POET, PLAYWRIGHT, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT EUGENIUS OF CARTHAGE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES RENATUS VERBEEK, MORAVIAN MINISTER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF PETER RICKSEEKER, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER, MISSIONARY, MUSICIAN, MUSIC EDUCATOR, AND COMPOSER; STUDENT OF JOHANN CHRISTIAN BECHLER, MORAVIAN MINISTER , MUSICIAN, MUSIC EDUCATOR, AND COMPOSER; FATHER OF JULIUS THEODORE BECHLER, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER, MUSICIAN, EDUCATOR, AND COMPOSER

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https://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2018/07/13/little-less-than-divine/

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Devotion for Proper 6, Year A (Humes)   1 comment

Above:  The U.S. $100 Bill

Image in the Public Domain

Faithful Servants of God, Part IV

NOT OBSERVED IN 2019

Trinity Sunday takes the place of Proper 6 in 2019.

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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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Ecclesiastes 9:1-12 or Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

Psalm 9:11-20

Galatians 5:1-26

Matthew 6:22-34

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For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

–Galatians 5:14-15, The New Revised Standard Version (1989)

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As I write repeatedly, the Law of Moses contains both timeless principles and culturally specific examples thereof.  One of these timeless principles is the Golden Rule.  It is short, sweet, and to the point.  One might, with verbosity, attempt to work around it, but the Golden Rule remains golden and wonderfully succinct.  It is also difficult to live up to much of the time.

Another timeless principle of the Law of Moses is that all of us depend entirely on God and partially on each other.  We are therefore interdependent and responsible both to and for each other, as well as to God.  These points underpin much of the content of scripture assigned for this Sunday.

Often we violate the Golden Rule in the name of looking out for ourselves.  We imagine vainly that we must and can rely on our own resources.  That attitude is the origin of much evil.  But, in Christ, we are free, by grace, to become people who uphold a high standard of radical love–even sacrificial love.  The servant is not greater than the master, after all.

May we, while seeking to follow God, care more about being loving and compassionate than about confirming our biases.  May we seek to love, not to be right in our own eyes, with their frequently defective moral vision.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 22, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT DEOGRATIAS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF CARTHAGE

THE FEAST OF EMMANUEL MOURNIER, PERSONALIST PHILOSOPHER

THE FEAST OF JAMES DE KOVEN, EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HUGHES, BRITISH SOCIAL REFORMER AND MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

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Adapted from this post:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/22/devotion-for-the-eighth-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-a-humes/

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Devotion for Proper 5, Year A (Humes)   1 comment

Above:  Christ Pantocrator

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Faithful Servants of God, Part III

NOT OBSERVED IN 2019

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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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Ecclesiastes 7:1-4, 11-18 or Ezekiel 34:1-10

Psalm 9:1-10

Galatians 4:1-16

Matthew 5:38-48

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As Koheleth and Jesus tell us, the way of the world is that righteous people suffer, both the righteous and the wicked prosper, and God is in control.  The combination of those three statements might seem incongruous.  Throughout the Book of Psalms righteous people cry out to God for deliverance from oppression.  Often they are understandably angry, but Christ tells us to pray for our persecutors and to love our enemies.  Interestingly, nowhere does the Hebrew Bible command anyone to love one’s enemies, and, as we have read previously in this series of posts, God prospers that the wicked change their ways and find mercy.  Yet many of the wicked refuse to repent, so the divine deliverance of the oppressed becomes bad news for oppressors.

The call to radical love thunders off the pages of the Sermon on the Mount.  We are to trust in God, not ourselves, and be so loving as to seem foolish to many.  Such love breaks the cycle of anger, resentment, revenge, and violence.  We, as inheritors, by grace, and adopted members of the household of God, are free to do that, if we dare.

May we dare accordingly.  Then we, by grace, will be suited for our purpose, or, as Matthew 5:48 puts it, perfect.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 21, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH, CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH, AND JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH, COMPOSERS

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICHOLAS OF FLÜE AND HIS GRANDSON, SAINT CONRAD SCHEUBER, SWISS HERMITS

THE FEAST OF SAINT SERAPION OF THMUIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM EDWARD HICKSON, ENGLISH MUSIC EDUCATOR AND SOCIAL REFORMER

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Adapted from this post:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/21/devotion-for-the-seventh-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-a-humes/

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Devotion for Proper 4, Year A (Humes)   1 comment

Above:  Icon of Abraham

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Faithful Servants of God, Part II

NOT OBSERVED IN 2019

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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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Ecclesiastes 5:1-7 or Ecclesiastes 6 or Ezekiel 33:1-11

Psalm 7:1, 11-18

Galatians 3:19-29

Matthew 5:21-37

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Words matter, for they have power.  Today we read this in Ecclesiastes 5 and Matthew 5.  We have a moral obligation to refrain from all abusive language (such as Raqa, in the context of the culture of Matthew 5) and evasive language purposefully devoid of meaning (such as clever oaths in Matthew 5).

Actions matter also.  As much as God desires that the wicked repent, we mere mortals ought to seek reconciliation in disputes.  Accomplishing this is not always possible, for reconciliation requires more than one conciliatory party.  In such a case the desire to reconcile is laudable, at least.

The prayer from Psalm 7:9 that the wicked would cease to do harm and the reign of righteousness would begin is a timeless one.  I pray it often, for that would be a welcome change of reality.  Such a radical restructuring of the world requires an act of God, whose law Christ fulfills.

These admonitions can prove difficult to keep in one’s life.  We cannot succeed by our own strength of will.  Yes, our good intentions are laudable; God can work with them.  Yet we require grace to succeed in this noble endeavor.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 21, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH, CARL PHILIPP EMANUEL BACH, AND JOHANN CHRISTIAN BACH, COMPOSERS

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICHOLAS OF FLÜE AND HIS GRANDSON, SAINT CONRAD SCHEUBER, SWISS HERMITS

THE FEAST OF SAINT SERAPION OF THMUIS, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM EDWARD HICKSON, ENGLISH MUSIC EDUCATOR AND SOCIAL REFORMER

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Adapted from this post:

https://adventchristmasepiphany.wordpress.com/2018/03/21/devotion-for-the-sixth-sunday-after-the-epiphany-year-a-humes/

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